#159: Arizona Farm League Prospects: Update Part II

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

Gil
Mechanicsville, VA

My last update profiled three of the six Braves prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League. This edition will provide some insight to those omitted last week.

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis

First is right handed pitcher Chris Ellis. Chris is a 24 year old, 6’5″, 205 lbs, who was drafted in the third round (88th overall) by the LAX Angels in 2014. He was part of the return package for Andrelton Simmons which also netted Sean Newcomb and Erick Aybar. Ellis spent the better part of last season as part of the Gwinnett staff pitching after beginning the season in double A Mississippi. His record of 8 wins and 2 losses earned him a promotion to Triple A where he found the sledding a bit tougher. After promotion to the IL, his record sagged a bit to 3-7 with an ERA of 7.04 in 14 games and 62-2/3rds innings.

So far in the AFL, he continues to struggle with the strike zone with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts while giving up 15 hits and 14 runs, 11 earned after only 4 games and 12 innings pitched. Not exactly the kind of numbers one would hope to see from a top tier prospect. Perhaps he is tired, maybe he has an ailment he is not revealing or maybe he is trying to prefect a new pitch but whatever, it does not look good for the young righty from Mississippi. I think he is still growing into his body. Until he is able to command his pitches better, he will remain a prospect and not see the major leagues.

Evan Phillips

Evan Phillips

Next up is Evan Phillips, 6’2″, 215 lbs, a 22 year old right handed reliever who played college ball at UNC-Wilmington, NC. Drafted in the 17th round by the Braves, Phillips is one of those rare gems every scout dreams of and every GM looks brilliant for finding them and then taking them at a low cost low risk high reward situation. Phillips has shined at every stop in his professional career. While he has not put up the eye popping numbers of Jared Miller, a Diamondback prize, he was chosen as the Braves lone representative for the AFL All-star game. So far, he continues to record outs while pitching in a relief role. To date, he has appeared in six games, hurling 7.2 innings with 10 Ks and 5 walks. Aside from his first appearance, he has been solid in relief for the Salt River Rafters. While he has given up three earned runs, he has a .143 BA against so far in the AFL.

Evan is currently listed as the Braves #99 prospect but I suspect that number will rise as he continues to progress in the Braves system. His good work in Arizona will likely earn him an invite to the Braves’ spring training camp with the big boys to continue evaluate his potential against top flight hitters. Phillips works with a three-pitch mix, featuring a fastball in the 91-94 range, touching as high as 96. He also features a hard slider and a hard curve as his third pitch, both in the mid-80s in velocity. The knock on Phillips has been his lack of control but since moving to being used strictly as a reliever, his control has improved. Don’t be surprised to see his name linked in one of the many trade rumors we are likely to hear about this winter.

Kade Scivicque

Kade Scivicque

Lastly, in this trio, is cajun catching prospect Kade Scivicque (pronounced Siv-EEK) 6’0″, 225 lbs.  Kade was acquired from the Detroit Tigers organization in exchange for Erick Aybar at the trade deadline. The 23 year old native of Baton Rouge, LA, was a lightly scouted player out of LSU, taken 340th overall by the Tigers in 2016. He was not highly touted but his coaches all praised his leadership skills. He has been a little slow to develop his offense but has shown flashes of late in getting the bat on the ball. He is considered a “project” and potentially a backup candidate for the major leagues but then, you never know when a guy will finally have the lights turned on and he will “get it”. After the disappointment the Braves experienced with Bethancourt who we all heard was the next Johnny Bench, the Braves could use some over-achievers at the backstop position. I expect he will begin the 2017 season at Pearl Mississippi but if his bat continues to heat up, he could find himself at Triple A a couple of seasons ahead of schedule. He is currently batting a respectable .317 for the Rafters but it is a truly small sample size.

Next time I will preview the current Braves plying their trade in the other winter leagues.

gil2

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383 Responses to “#159: Arizona Farm League Prospects: Update Part II”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady November 12, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks again, Gil! Apologies from the Graphics Department; not a lot available to choose from. My very happy to read about Evan Phillips, local college boy. Hope he continues to do well!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

    And thank you chief. Perhaps I should go and update a few stats but I think the next lead will be about the Braves off season signings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

    but I think the next lead will be about the Braves off season signings.

    Speaking of which, there were a couple of the minor league variety over the weekend. The Braves re-signed C Braeden Schlehuber to a minor league deal. He’s a career minor leaguer who caught at AAA last season, and will probably catch at AAA again this season.

    We have also brought back old friend P Jordan Walden on a minor league deal with a spring invite. You should remember him. He’s the guy that kinda jumped off the mound when he pitched. Could never stay healthy. He went to the Cards with JHey in the Shelby Miller deal.

    Like

  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Jordan Walden? Not a bad choice for a minor league pick. When Jordan is healthy, he’s a good pitcher. No real investment there. If he’s healthy and can pitch, great, if not it’s “bye Felicia”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 5 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Just a reminder, teams have until 5pm ET today to extend QO’s to their impending FA’s. Once those final determinations are made, it could have a laxative like effect on the FA market.

    OK… maybe that was not such a good analogy to use… 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2016 at 10:12 am

    “OK… maybe that was not such a good analogy to use…😛”

    Yeah, just ask Mark Marksberry… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  8. 8 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    If there’s any one player I’ll pull for more than another, it may be him. I want this guy to succeed very badly.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Near death experience can be a great reality check. I’m sure he will go forward in life with a much clearer prospective. You do have to root for a guy who understands the really important things in life. Here is hoping he can return to the major leagues and be a success as well as a walking talking advocate for the powers of Christ.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 10 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Very nice <assessment of the Braves signings of Bartolo Colon an RA Dickey right here by Jerry Crasnick. I like Crasnick’s work alot and I think he perfectly capsulizes these 2 signings.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 11 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Aside from a few more under the radar minor league signings, I think there are still 2 more headline worthy moves to be made by Coppy. Why do I think that? Well, because Coppy said as much himself, and he has proven to be pretty transparent in his motives.

    He says he wants a catcher and a super-utility type.

    As for catcher, it won’t be Matt Wieters. Too much $$ for what you get. I don’t think it’ll be Jason Castro either. Same commentary just on a smaller scale. His price is inflated by the lack of available catchers. I’ve seen Nick Hundley’s name mentioned. If it’s a FA signing, his is not a bad one to consider. This could easily be a name we have not considered via trade, though.

    When you say super-utility, you immediately think Ben Zobrist. Who would be available in that same mold? There’s a guy that’s a FA this year named Daniel Descalso… not gonna excite the fanbase, though. Heck, Chase d’Arnaud is probably just as good. Only thing is that Descalso is a LH, and the Braves need a LH for the bench. They probably want a little more power too. If Coppy is gonna find a better candidate, it’ll have to come via trade.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 12 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Wow! Jeremy Hellickson accepted the QO from the Phillies. What was he thinking? With a bad FA pitchingclass this year, he could have easily raked in a 3 year deal above his real value. :-O

    Like

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Just saw this comment by Bowman with regard to the signing of Walden:

    The Braves have already made the surprising decision to give a Minor League contract to Jordan Walden, an injury-plagued right-handed reliever who didn’t fit well in the clubhouse during his previous stint in Atlanta.

    Wasn’t aware he “didn’t fit well in the clubhouse”. Interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    “didn’t fit well in the clubhouse”

    Different manager, different fit…. also a trade piece if he is rehabilitated…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 15 Carolina Lady November 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Where do the Braves keep their MAS*H unit?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Vox O'Reason November 14, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    OK good folks… I hope to check in tomorrow afternoon sometime. Outpatient surgery in the morning- early in the morning. Sleeping for a while afterward. 🙂

    Hasta Mañana.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Good luck Vee, will be praying for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 18 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Feeling pretty decent. A little tired, but not too sore. Meds are good for that. Thanks for all the prayers. Much appreciated and much felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Not sure I’m gonna make my next start though. Perhaps a brief DL stint is in order.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Rest and sleep are good Vee, pain is not therapeutic…

    Liked by 2 people

  21. 21 Carolina Lady November 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    You’re in His hands, Vee. But you know that. Rest in peacefulness knowing that not only is He in charge of everything but all of your many friends, brothers and sisters, have your back and are praying for you. Gotcha covered on the DL; Gil is filling in for you! 🙂 (Meds are wonderful when ya need ’em!)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 22 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    My mind is still good, and my fingers work fine. As long as the battery in my Kindle holds out, I’m good. Eyes and ears are always open.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. 23 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    This is what’s going to happen to Turner Field, and it couldn’t be better. The Ted itself will be reverted back to a configuration similar to the original Olympic Track and Field stadium, and become the football home of Georgia State University. But best of all, the old footprint of Fulton County Stadium right next door will become their baseball field. Awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. 24 Carolina Lady November 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    That is terrific, V! I’m so glad that both will be put to good use!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 25 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Here’s something to chew on. You all know how I love to talk about the Braves 40-man roster. Well, said 40mr sits at 36 with Bartolo added. Friday is the deadline to set the roster for the Rule 5 draft. The Braves will surely add Max Fried and Lucas Sims without question. But they’d probably like to protect OF’s Connor Lien and Joey Meneses as well. That maxes out the roster right there and leaves NO wiggle room for additions or anything else heading into the Winter Meetings. And since we know they’re still on the prowl for a catcher and super-utility guy, we need some wiggle room.

    So how do you achieve the room while continuing to shape the roster? Well by trade of course. And a big deal that sends off 3 or 4 for 1 really achieves multiple goals.

    The Braves have once again been mentioned prominently along with the name Chris Sale. If Coppy is indeed going to pull off a big deal for such a pitcher, or even for a catcher, nailing it down sooner than later would help in more than one fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 26 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I’m curious though. If the Braves really want Sale bad enough – and remember, he’s a true ace and arguably the top lefty in the AL – it’ll cost big. It’ll start with Ozzie. It’ll also require Mallex, and they might insist on Ender over Mallex. Add either Wisler or Blair, then another pitching prospect, and you’re in the ballpark.

    If it’s Mallex, then the prospect is probably gonna have to be Fried or Newcomb. If it’s Ender, then you might get by with Chris Ellis or Touki.

    That’s a steep price to pay, but you’re getting a true ace lefty in his prime, with 3 more team friendly years left on his deal, and you’re dealing from an area of abundance.

    And you become a contender.

    Do you do it?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 27 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Losing Ozzie would hurt for sure, but you do have young Travis Demeritte knocking the cover off the ball in the AFL. He’s still a couple years away though. You’d need a bridge, and I’m not sure Jace is that.

    The FA market doesn’t offer much either.

    Cindy would love to dump the last year and $14M left on Brandon Phillips’ contract. He’d probably waive his no trade privilege to come to his home town Braves. Might not cost much in terms of prospects since it’s a salary dump.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 28 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Cindy = Cincy. Autocorrect on my Kindle is a beast.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. 29 Carolina Lady November 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    lol I’ll have to admit you had me blinking at the original post. “Who the heck is Cindy?” I wondered. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 30 Vox O'Reason November 15, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Jon Heyman of Fan Rag:

    The Atlanta Braves have joined the Chris Sale derby in a big way and are among the teams trying hardest to land one of baseball’s best pitchers.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I do not like trading Ender, period. At some point, you have to score some runs as well as prevent them. Ozzie, Mallex, okay, Newcomb? sure…

    Liked by 2 people

  32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2016 at 7:41 am

    FYI… Some rule 5 draft info: Teams pick in reverse order of their final standings, teams can only pick if they have an opening on their 40 man roster. Picks must stay on the drafting team for the season (unless injured), picks cost $50,000, if demoted, they are offered back to their original team for $25,000.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

    The rule five draft is one reason you need to have a very deep staff so you can keep track of not only all the players in your system but also all the players on 29 other teams plus all the talent in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Not to mention Asia, Australia and South America. That’s a lot of players…

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 34 Vox O'Reason November 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Ha ha ha…

    Liked by 3 people

  35. 35 Carolina Lady November 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    from MLB News:

    Jason Castro drawing interest from multiple clubs

    Free-agent catcher Jason Castro is drawing interest from five teams, and he has multiple offers on the table, according to a report Wednesday from SB Nation.

    The Braves are among the most serious bidders for the catcher, according to ESPN.

    Castro, 29, batted .210/.307/.377 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 113 games for the Astros in 2016.

    Braves going big-ace hunting

    After signing R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, the Braves aren’t done solidifying their rotation. Atlanta has shown interest in White Sox ace Chris Sale, and it’s asked about right-handers Chris Archer of the Rays and Sonny Gray of the A’s.

    The recent additions of Dickey and Colon give the Braves the ability to deal one or two of their young arms, if need be. The club would still have plenty of pitching depth, and those prospects would have yet another year to develop.
    MLB Network’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Braves are showing strong interest in a deal for Sale, who is owed a reasonable $38 million over the next three seasons.

    Sale went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 2016, racking up 233 strikeouts after leading the American League with 274 in ’15.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 36 Vox O'Reason November 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    The rebuild has clearly shifted gears.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 37 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2016 at 2:31 am

    What I heard it would take to get Sale last year, even after his temper tantrum…..was insane….Now, if it was only the braves, well, that would be different. but, the Red Sox have money and prospects(and proven MLB players that are just kids) to burn. So do the Cubs who will still try to get even better. Not sure the White Sox would want to see him as a hero cross town though…Oh, and the Dodgers have what, 2 starters they can count on?

    Here is what the Red Sox might have to give up, via the
    Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo a few weeks ago… what the White Sox might want from the Red Sox in a Sale trade this offseason:

    “In talking to some of the White Sox pro scouting personnel, it’s obvious who they like and would want back from the Red Sox to make this blockbuster a reality. The White Sox have always coveted Jackie Bradley Jr., and they would also have to get an elite prospect back such as Yoan Moncada and/or Rafael Devers.

    That does not give the White Sox a pitcher to replace Sale though.
    I’m sorry, but Mallex Smith, unless and until he proves himself at the ML level, isn’t going to draw much…I’ve never heard of a prospect getting released in Winter Ball, and thumb injury or not, no team is going to want him til he proves at least to be healthy….

    If I were the braves, I would look elsewhere, cuz the bidding war for a cheap for several years, young (28 in March) Left handed starter , is going to get crazy.

    And maybe I am crazy (maybe?) but while he is 6 ‘6, he is only 180 LB’s (I’m 6 ‘ and weigh 50 Lb’s more than he does!) and while he has been quite healthy, and more durable than most…I would worry how long he can hold up.

    but, you gotta take risks to compete, especially if you are trying to do it faster than most teams do….and if you can keep the Nats from getting him (Oh yeah, forgot they have strong interest too) so much the better….still, I sure hope they have a plan be, several teams are going to be disappointed

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 38 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Plan B and I am 6 foot nothin’ if the post above mad no sense…

    Like

  39. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Let him stay in the AL… I can deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 40 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Personally, if they’re gonna pay a big ransom, I’d prefer Chris Archer.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 41 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    … but I’m on some pretty heavy pain meds as I say that. Might change my mind when I’m clearer.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I just never like trading 5 players for one. I think you give up too much. Now, I guess it depends on who you are giving up but still, I have a tough time getting past the Braves trading their minor leagues for Texieria… How did that work out?

    I also don’t like trading an everyday player (Inciarte) for one who plays every fifth day (Sale)…

    Young pitchers have to learn how to control their skills. Perhaps we are habitually sold by the pundits on how great our prospects are only to learn they are mediocre. or maybe they aren’t.. How do we really know until they play?

    Having unlimited cash helps but it does not assure success does it? I thought the Astros would be better than they were but they could not beat Texas. Texas was really good but they hit a wall at the end. The Res Sox are loaded but they were schooled by the Indians…

    The Cubs won in spite of Madden’s questionable managing… The Dodgers lost in spite of Roberts brilliance. The Giants lost despite it being an even year… What a fun game eh?

    Liked by 2 people

  43. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I’m on some pretty heavy pain meds

    Yep, I use that excuse a lot when I put my foot in my mouth with Ms Josie… 🙂

    “The Devil made me do it” doesn’t cut it for her…

    Liked by 3 people

  44. 44 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

    If a package of Ozzie, Mallex, Wisler and Lucas Sims would bring back Archer, I’d do it. But I would not give up Dansby, and I would not give up both Ozzie and Ender together. I consider Fried, Newcomb, Allard, Soroka and Weigel to be untouchable in any deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 45 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Like

  46. 46 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Now that I’m off the drugs a little, I’m not so sure I’d give up that much for Archer either. That’s a big price.

    Maybe that’s an indicator that I need another dose. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 47 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Don’t take so much democrats steat making sense

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 48 Carolina Lady November 17, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    lol, Ber. Vee, when THAT starts making sense, you need to back off juuuust a touch! However, today is one of those days that I’d take anything I could get my hands on. Some of that dilaudid I had in the hospital would be ideal!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Yep, welcome to Braves & Stuff, we now have a pretty good idea of what the “Stuff” is…

    Liked by 3 people

  50. 50 Carolina Lady November 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    LOL, Gil! Today there is no relief from pain. Not aspirin (which usually does a great job), nor any of the prescriptions, no position to stand, sit or lie. Just gonna hafta wait it out. Done it before, I can do it again, though I’d really rather not. 😀

    Like

  51. 51 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Now we know of ONE catcher that won’t be coming here.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. 52 Vox O'Reason November 17, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I sympathize with your pain, CL, and am truly sorry. Pain is no joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 53 Carolina Lady November 17, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I do my best to keep my words in line with the Words of God – calling those things that are not as though they were – but sometimes it’s just hard to keep from calling a spade a spade. I know I’m wrong to do it, but here I am – Thank Goodness, it is written that ‘He remembers that they are dust! God is good! All the time! And thanks, Vee. Hope you’re getting better by the minute!

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 54 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Sorry too that you are in pain CL! 😦

    I guess pain is something besides Baseball and politics that link the 4 of us….

    Could change the name to Braves and Pain, or Braves, Pain, and stuff 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 55 Vox O'Reason November 18, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Still alot of chatter today surrounding Chris Sale. My gut says they won’t get close on a deal. CHW will, and should, demand at least 2 top prospects for him, along with some major league ready pieces. The price is simply too high. Same can be said for Chris Archer.

    I’m thinking maybe Tampa’s Drew Smyly might be more in our price range.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 56 Vox O'Reason November 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Btw, today is deadline day for setting the 40 man roster. 4 spots currently open. I still expect Max Fried and Lucas Sims to be added. I think Connor Lien and Joey Meneses could be also.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 57 Vox O'Reason November 18, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Name to consider for the “super utility” type that Coppy covets. Sean Rodriguez, who is a FA last with PIT. RH hitting 2B and OF that has some fair pop in his bat.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 58 Vox O'Reason November 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I overlooked Camargo. He’s a Daniel Castro type. Good all around fielder, light bat. Could help someone as a utility IF. Interesting that they have left a spot open.

    Like

  59. 59 Vox O'Reason November 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Nothing to see here. Move on along. Not even on a par with Recker. Not quite sure why the Braves took him except for building depth.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 60 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Interesting….too bad Trevor Plouffe isn’t a left handed hitter, but….I wonder if he would be willing and or able to play 2nd base????

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/11/twins-outright-trevor-plouffe.html

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Kind of a quite weekend huh? I don’t expect a lot of movement this week being Thanksgiving week.

    The AFL ended saturday.

    A couple of stats of interest: Kade Scivicque ended up batting .378 with a .486 slugging and a .897 OPS.

    Dylan Moore BA of .317, only 4 strike outs. An OPS of .914

    Dustin Peterson .324 in 68 at bats, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 13 Ks.

    Perhaps one of the more interesting lines is Travis Demeritte, .261 (pretty much what he has always hit) with 4 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs ans 25 strike outs. Okay, that last number kind of indicates the type of hitter he is. 4 home runs in 92 at bats… Hummmmm… Do strike outs matter? Do you mind having more Ks in exchange for more power?

    Liked by 3 people

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Yes. Gil… a pretty successful AFL for all of or prospects, I think. Scivicque surprised a few folks (myself included), Moore cemented himself as a legit prospect, and DPetey continued doing what made him the organization’s POTY last season. And of course, there’s Demeritte. As you noted, he did what he’s done for his entire career. He hits with elite power when he makes contact, which currently is not at an elite rate. Still, that’s all very good for the future of the Braves indeed.

    I like Dylan Moore as a utility guy. As with most sports, baseball is about trends. And the current trend is to have the “super-utility” player that can play pretty much every day but all over the field. Moore looks to to me to be that kind of guy. Atlanta was a bit of a forerunner n that trend with Martin Prado a few years back. Boy, I wish we could have inked him to come back home this year.

    BTW- Sciv’s .378 led his team in AVG, but truthfully he only played in 10 games. Still, we’ll take it. He along with DPetey and Moore posted 3 of the team’s top 4 AVG. Not too shabby. All 4 Braves hitters finished 1-4 in SLG. Pretty dang impressive if you ask me. Coppy & Co. have to be very pleased.

    On the pitching side, Akeel Morris represented well with a 2.89 ERA in 9 relief appearances. The other pitchers were met with mixed results. Chris Ellis was especially disappointing logging only 19.2 IP in 6 starts and finishing with a 5.03 ERA. he was apparently plagued by control issues, walking 12 batters in those 19.2 innings. Well, that’s something every young pitcher has to harness. It only shows that he’s not ripe yet, and still needs some seasoning on the vine.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Looking at Demeritte’s line, it appears to me that he profiles more as a third baseman than a second sacker. Of course, I don’t know how his fielding profiles there.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 65 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Looking at Demeritte’s line, it appears to me that he profiles more as a third baseman than a second sacker.

    It’s possible. The Braves have young Austin Riley lined up to take 3B in about 2 more years, with phenom Kavin Maitan breathing down Riley’s neck. Who knows what Ozzie will or won’t do at 2B. Or Dylan Moore for that matter.

    It’s a good problem to have. It’s also a product of the team suddenly having a very healthy farm system.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    While none are really on the national media radar, they are what we have right now, or at least until they trade for someone or until they are traded for someone. I would love to see some of these kids play myself so I could make a better assessment. Stat sheets never tell the whole story unless you are a fantasy player, then offense is all you look at.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. 67 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Courtesy of Bowman:

    “We’ve worked so hard these past two years to take our farm system from worst to first,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “The last thing we want to do is give away the farm to add one player. If we give up young players we like, it’s going to be for long-term value. We’re going to try to build it the right way.

    That should tell you all you need to know about the Braves’ so-called pursuit of Chris Sale or Chris Archer. Kicking the tires in due diligence. Nothing more.

    Liked by 2 people

  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

    But that leave the Tampa Bay Rays as a prime trading partner. Still, I like the idea of not giving up the farm (again).

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 69 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 9:09 am

    The supposed price for Chris Sale is 5 of: 3 elite prospects + 2 major league ready players.

    You can read that as 3 of Sean Newcomb, Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Patrick Weigel plus Matt Wisler and Ozzie Albies.

    The reported price for Chris Archer is about the same, although maybe not quite as specific.

    But the point is easy enough to grasp… you would have to empty out the farm. I still consider a handful of arms (pun fully intended) to be untouchable right now: Sean Newcomb, Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Patrick Weigel. I think Joey Wentz and Touki Toussaint might be in that category also.

    Here’s the thing. I just rolled off 8 elite pitching prospects. Even if they all developed properly, which is honestly not likely, you can’t have an 8 man rotation. And what do you do with Julio and Folty?

    So at some point, one or more will become available for a fair return. But not right now. Not yet.

    I’ll be shocked if the Braves pull the chord on a big trade such as that. I won’t be surprised to see them acquire another pitcher in another fashion, though. That said, I think that the additions of Big Sexy and RAD has knocked pitching down on the list of priorities. It’s my opinion that the Braves will go to DC in a couple of weeks with the mission of acquiring a catcher and a bench piece. If pitching happens, then it happens. But I don’t believe it is on the front burner any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 70 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    This is why players want to play for him. It’s a quality that is rare.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

    A huge sell off of prospects for an ACE is what you do if you have a set line up and in the final stages of putting together a WS contender. The Braves are still in the rebuilding phase of their 5 year plan. I have no delusions they will be playing for a championship in 2017.

    They should be looking at a play-off run but it is still too early to go all in. They would be better served to move into a bidding war for a free agent when that time comes, ala Greg Maddux back in the day. Remember, Glavin was a Braves’ draft pick, John Smoltz was acquired via trade and Mad Dog was signed as a free agent from the Cubs.

    Baseball is a business where success can be attained following many different models but the worse mistake, in my opinion, a team can make is to fight the last war. Just assembling high price talent is not enough, you have to have someone with the skill to get the most out of said talent and a whole lot of pure dumb luck.

    I think a lot of people forget that the Braves, back in the day, had a lot of turnover from year to year. what a team has to guard against is having your team all get old at once. SEE THE PHILLIES….

    Liked by 2 people

  71. 72 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    They would be better served to move into a bidding war for a free agent when that time comes, ala Greg Maddux back in the day.

    I do not disagree. This year’s crop of FA pitchers doesn’t have that guy. It’s telling that they would be happy to take on the remaining 3 years of Sale or Archer, but would not be willing to go 3 years on any of the current FA’s. I think that speaks loudly as to what the Braves scouts think of the 2016 FA pitching options. There aren’t any “sure things” in it. All of the top pitchers come with some question mark attached. The closest to a sure thing would be Rich Hill, who will be 37 when Spring Training begins and didn’t really become “excellent” until he signed with Boston in 2015 and somebody tweaked his mechanics, after which he went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in 4 starts. Then last season he was a combined 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA in 20 starts with OAK and LAD. Still, he only pitched 110.1 innings. No way I’d give him a 3-year deal. But somebody probably will.

    I think they have already done the smart thing by inking a couple of solid if not flashy veterans to augment the current youngsters and bridge to the addition of Sean Newcomb in 2018, with Max Fried following thereafter at some point. Then the parade of youngsters begins in 2019.

    Oh… and if you still want an “ace” going into 2018, next year’s FA’s are alot more promising with names like Jake Arrieta, Danny Duffy and Yu Darvish all entering the open market. I’d take Duffy in heartbeat.

    If the Braves can just be relevant in 2017… if they can play .500 or a little better ball, maybe even vie for the 2nd Wild Card, I’ll be OK. And I’ll tune in for every one of Bartolo’s starts. The guy is ageless and always entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. 73 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Good for him. It seems to be a good fit. I hope it is for him and the O’s.

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Congrats to Travis Demeritte, whom the Braves fleeced from Texas for Lucas Harrell and 27-year old LHRP Dario Alvarez.

    Harrell was recently outrighted from the Rangers’ 40-man roster, and Alvarez was a flop giving up 10 ER in 11.2 IP. Rangers beat writer Evan Grant said of him: Should never face a right-handed hitter in the AL. They had 13 hits, including three homers in 33 at-bats, after he joined the Rangers in a desperate-for-pitching deal. Seven of 16 lefties also reached. There may still be a future for him as a one-batter lefty specialist, but that’s the future. He failed his 2016 audition. Ouch.

    Yes… a fleecing is what that was. Maybe a little “get back” from the Teixeira deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Yes… a fleecing is what that was. Maybe a little “get back” from the Teixeira deal.

    The Braves could do that deal 10 times and the Rangers would still be one up on the Braves for the Texeria trade. Of course I am sure the Padres feel the same about the Braves for what they got out of Shelby Miller.

    Not that I feel sorry for the Padres over that. I am of the mind the Padres brought the failure of Shelby Miller on themselves with the huge changes they made in Shelby’s mechanics. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…. pretty sure he is messed up big time now. Still, I’d take Shelby back in exchange for a mid level prospect. I think he has the same potential he had when the Braves traded Heyward for him (or maybe that is vice versa)… Anyway, Demeritte appears to be improving his value every day. Not having seen him play, I have no idea of his glove skills. All star teams seem to be made up on offensive prowess more that defensive attributes. That is a little sad I think.

    It is only we purest who appear to appreciate good defense as will as bat skills one would think.

    It does give the Braves another trade chip. Ozzie, Travis or the young phenom out of Venezuela they sign this summer in the international pool all could be playing on the Atlanta infield in 2018.

    Demeritte is the type of hitter who will be hitting in the middle of the order for someone. Not your typical 2nd baseman but when you have power to go with your speed, they will find a place for you to play.

    I don’t know if he will be playing in double A or triple A to start the 2017 season. I guess we will find out at the end of spring training.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Just looked at the AFL All stars again… Wow, that is a might white looking bunch… Must be based on merit and not diversity.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. 77 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Not having seen him [Demeritte] play, I have no idea of his glove skills.

    Here is the scouting report on his defense:

    A shortstop in high school, Demeritte has a strong arm and average speed that many scouts thought would fit best at third base. With Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo at third base, the Rangers moved him to second base in 2014. Demeritte had adapted well to his new position and should become at least an average defender there. Now without those obstacles, but the possibility of Ozzie Albies playing second for a long time, the Braves might consider giving Demeritte a look at the hot corner.

    You know… he reminds me alot of another young 2B that came up in the Braves system in the late ’90’s. A guy named Ron Gant. Perhaps LF is in his future?

    Perhaps the OF of 2019 looks like Demeritte/Inciarte/DPeterson?

    As Yogi Berra said, I have one word for that: youneverknow.

    Like

  77. 78 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Just noticed… Demeritte is already 22. He could move up the chain a little quicker than some of the others.

    Like

  78. 79 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I think we’ll see DPetey in AAA Gwinnett next season, and I think Demeritte will start the year at AA Pearl, but could be moved on up at mid-season if his bat warrants it. I’d like to see him get some time at 3B while at AA though. Seems like a more logical landing spot for him. At least for the short term.

    Like

  79. 80 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    He’s reached agreement with the Twins. IMO, there isn’t another viable FA catcher available. Wieters will cost too much, and Hundley’s numbers in 2016 were not as good as Recker’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 82 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Wonder if the Braves could turn their attention to 3B now that the catcher market has evaporated severely?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 83 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for asking, CL. It’s slow, but getting a little better each day. Trying to be patient and take it easy, but that’s not in my DNA. I tire easily. Still, I’m praising God in the storm. Glad He’s on my side.

    Liked by 2 people

  82. 84 Carolina Lady November 22, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I praise Him for bringing you through the storm and for the blessings He bestows on you. Oh, I do understand about being out of commission! That’s when I know I’m fully on the way to healing: getting impatient to be up and about, doing this, that, or the other! Don’t you just know that God has to grin and shake His head at us sometimes??

    Liked by 2 people

  83. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2016 at 7:02 am

    It does make me realize how Saltalamacchia has been able to stay in the majors with the dearth of catching talent in the bigs. It is funny but as you get older, it is hard for one to grasp the value place upon one’s labor.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. 87 Vox O'Reason November 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    MLB.com posted their Top 25 prospects from the recent AFL. Young Travis Demeritte turned alot of heads with his performance there, earning a spot in that elite group. Here’s his posting:

    19. Travis Demeritte, 2B/3B, Salt River (Braves No. 9): Known primarily for his power — he led the league in triples (four) and tied for the lead in total bases (48), Demeritte displayed better athleticism and range at second base than expected in Arizona.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Evidently, Demeritte split time between 2nd and 3rd base while playing in the AFL. I would say the young man took advantage of the opportunity afforded to him as the replacement player chosen when Ozzie went down with the elbow fracture.

    Isn’t that what it’s all about, to make the most of opportunities when they occur? Even if he does not play a single game for the Braves, I predict he will play in the majors within the next two years.

    I think he may have put to rest the idea of his power was derived from using PEDs. Appears he has enough God given talent to make it a moot point.

    Liked by 3 people

  86. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving… I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have had the opportunity meet and interact with thru the internet and CLs wonderful little blog also known as the Braves & Stuff. It is pretty incredible when you think about it that we are approaching 9 years of sharing and espousing quality opines and verbiage about all things Braves as well as some truly interesting and insightful “stuff”.

    I suppose that is one of the great things about being a Christian is we can thank God for all out blessings and actually mean it.

    Liked by 3 people

  87. 90 Carolina Lady November 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Amen, Gil! Quality over quantity wins every time!

    Like

  88. 91 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Like

  89. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Happy Thanksgiving y’all… Okay, bring out the first turkey… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  90. 93 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 94 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    We called this one last week. It’s an excellent signing for the Braves. Coppy can check “super utility” off the list

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 95 Carolina Lady November 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 96 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    With Jason Castro off the board, I think Coppy might take a “buy low” flyer on Derek Norris. Good defender with a good bat in the past. I just have a feeling…

    Liked by 1 person

  94. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I think we opined quite a but about how Derek Norris was likely a good fit for the Braves. We’ll see.

    With the addition of Sean Rodriguez, I think we have seen the last of Frency in an Atlanta uniform.

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 98 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Yep. You’re probably right. I think it also portends badly for Chase d’Arnaud. Once the Braves make the Rodriguez signing official, somebody has to lose their 40-man roster spot.

    That somebody will almost certainly be d’Arnaud.

    He’s a pretty good player for cheap, so I doubt he’d pass through waivers cleanly. A minor trade is likely in the offing.

    Like

  96. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I thought there were only 39 players currently on the 40 man roster.

    Like

  97. 100 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    When they claimed Tuffy Gosewich off waivers, they had to add him.

    Like

  98. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I guess that is why they use the old “pending physicals” ploy when signing free agents so they have a few more days to make a trade or two.

    Like

  99. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    CL, I came to the conclusion several years ago that folks who hated me and my values did not want or deserve my business. Sort of like the CEO of Pepsi saying she did not want or need the patronage of anyone who supported Trump… Okay… NO PROBLEM! no Taco Bell, no Doritos, no Pizza Hut… no Pepsi products of any kind. I’m pretty sure the fine folks at Coke Cola won’t mind me spending my money with them.

    I no longer watch any NBC news programs, few ABC or CBS news shows either. They are going to have to prove to me they are only reporting the news and not trying to sell their slant before I can believe anything they say.

    Liked by 2 people

  100. 104 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Vee, you are correct sir, 40 man is full to the brim. Trade bait abounds…

    Like

  101. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    I really like Chase but you are right, he is expendable, especially given his struggles at the plate.

    Like

  102. 106 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    CL, I haven’t watched ESPN in a very long time, and don’t intend to unless they are carrying a game I really want to see that I can’t get anywhere else.

    But SportsCenter is out. Has been for a while. Same with Baseball Tonight. Can’t do it. Can’t stomach the network arrogance. They jumped the shark long ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  103. 107 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Good morning, good people. Still one week away from the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, and the Braves shopping list has already been pared down to 1 or 2 items. Maybe a catcher, and maybe another pitcher. But I don’t think either will be of the “impact” variety at this point.

    Yes, I know there has been a good bit of chatter surrounding Chris Sale, Chris Archer and Sonny Gray. But none of those fit the script of “The Plan”, and Coppy and Co. have stuck pretty close to The Plan since it began.

    I know I originally panned the Dickey signing, but some of that was based on higher hopes (that did not fit The Plan), and some was built upon stats I looked at that were more isolated and didn’t portray a bigger picture.

    Yes, his 4.46 ERA in 2016 isn’t very attractive. But there are a couple of context items that need to be taken into consideration. #1, he played his home games in an inside venue with virtually no wind. That has an effect on his knuckleball. #2, his former home park is considered a hitter’s park. And #3, he pitched in the hitter heavy AL East division.

    Oh… I could post all of the split stats here to back up my theory, but none of us really want to be inundated with alot of numbers. And I think we all have enough baseball acumen to understand that Dickey’s knuckleball will dazzle more than a few bats in the less than overwhelming NL East.

    With the exception of 2016, Dickey pitched to a sub-4 ERA every year in Toronto despite those challenges, and delivered more than 200 IP. The change in 2016 was due less to ineffectiveness and more to Toronto looking ahead to Dickey’s impending FA and moving on to younger pitchers. He was given only 2 starts in September, which not only limited his innings but also took him out of his starter’s rhythm. In the process, it affected his 2016 numbers making it look more like age had caught up to him.

    I think we’ll get the same thing from Dickey in 2017 that he’s delivered consistently since 2011… and that’s around 200 IP and an ERA under 4.00. He’s also delivered double digit W’s in 6 of his last 7 seasons, including the somewhat stunted 2016.

    As for Bartolo Colon, well… there are many that are calling his signing by the Braves the best offseason signing thus far. I agree. There isn’t a better “bridge” veteran in the game at this point, and not a much better mentor for a young stable of pitchers. Enticing him to defect from our NL East rival to bring his talents to Atlanta was brilliant.

    Since he turned 40 – think about that for a minute – he has delivered 190 IP or more for 4 straight seasons, while posting W totals of 18, 15, 14, & 15. In his age 40 season, he was an All-Star and finished 6th in Cy Young voting. Did y’all recall that he was an All-Star just last year too?

    As for Sean Rodriguez, well the first thing I learned is that he made a change in his batting stance and swing last season that transformed his whole batting style. The Pittsburgh writers liken it to the same leg kick that Jose Bautista added that turned him into the power threat that he has become. And there must be something to it. SRod’s power numbers jumped across the board… including a HR total of 18, which is a huge leap from his 2015 total of 4. His SLG jumped from .362 to .510. And it isn’t chemically enhanced.

    Writers are calling him “Ben Zobrist-lite”. And if you compare 2016 numbers, you’ll see that the the writers are pretty spot on.

    Zobrist: .272/.386/.446, 18 HR, 31 2B in 631 plate appearances.
    SRod: .270/.349/.510, 18 HR, 18 2B in 342 plate appearances.

    Oh BTW… Zobrist will take home $16.5M in each of his next 2 seasons. SRod will earn $5M in each of his next 2 seasons.

    Coppy and Snit have hinted that SRod should get at least 4-5 starts a week while splitting time with Jace at 2B, and occasionally spelling Adonis, MattyK, Dansby, and Kakes. He can also backup 1B, but as we all know, Freddie never sits unless he’s forced to.

    Can Coppy now work his magic one more time to find a starting catcher, or at the very least a catching compliment to TFlow? I suppose that remains to be seen. But even if he doesn’t, this offseason has already been a success.

    And we’re still one week away from the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings.

    Liked by 2 people

  104. 108 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Here is how I project the 2017 Opening Day roster as things stand today:

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    MattyK, LF (R)
    Kakes, RF (L)
    SRod, 2B (R)
    Adonis, 3B (R)
    TFlow, C (R)

    Recker, C (L)
    Jace, IF (L)
    Mallex, OF (L)
    Rio, IF (L)
    ???

    Julio, RH
    Bartolo, RH
    Folty, RH
    RAD, RH
    Wisler, RH

    Jimmy John, Cl
    Vizzy, RH
    Mauricio, RH
    Krol, LH
    Jose Ram, RH
    Chris Withrow, RH
    Collmenter, RH

    Now here’s where I have question marks…

    Last season, Coppy and Snit chose to carry an extra bullpen arm since none of his young starters ever gave them alot of innings. With the addition of both Bartolo and RAD, that changes. So I expect the team to go back to having 5 on the bench.

    Also, notice that the 4 I listed on the bench are all lefty hitters. That’s a little misleading since I think that Snit will go more with matchups, so the lineup shouldn’t be quite so RH heavy and the bench not so LH heavy.

    But does this resurrect the notion that Frenchy could come back as a RH power hitter for the bench? Hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  105. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Excellent opine this morning Vee.

    I guess what you are saying is the Braves should scan the schedule to avoid pitching Dicky indoors and at Coors Field.

    Colon has been an anomaly hasn’t he? Goes to show you don’t have to throw 100mph to be effective. He does make those flame throwers coming in behind him more effective. I view him as a Charlie Liebrandt type.

    Rodriguez has the same type of fire shown by AJ Pierzynski. You need players like him to remind everyone else that you need some emotion to play this game. I often thought one of the reasons the Braves of the 90s only won one WS ring is because they were a little too business like in their approach.

    You cannot win 100 games on emotion but it is often the difference in a short series. I think a great example was the Braves’ play the final month of the 2016 season. They showed a lot of grit in September and it was evident to anyone who bothered to watch them.

    Liked by 2 people

  106. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I think not having too set a line up going into spring training is a good thing, at least the kids having a little more incentive to attend the big league camp. You also never know who will break through nor who will break down.

    You are right when you say the need for an extra arm in the pen may not be called for. I would like to see the starters go deeper into the game next season. Getting 5 innings a night from your starters can sure wear out your pen in a hurry.

    This year we see the return of the WBC. If I were an owner of a MLB team, I would loath to think one of my high dollar arms is being put in jeopardy for an exhibition game.

    Liked by 2 people

  107. 111 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I don’t think Coppy is quite done tweaking yet, and you are right that there will be some competition for bench spots.

    Still there are a couple of veterans that don’t appear to have a place on the roster. Guys like Williams Perez and Chase d’Arnaud. They were effectively replaced by Josh Collmenter and Sean Rodriguez. Chase does have a minor league option remaining, so he can be stashed at AAA. Same with WillyP. Collmenter does not, so unless he just wets the bed during spring he’ll stay up and WillyP should be kept as depth at AAA.

    On the surface, our roster doesn’t appear to have a viable RH power bat for the bench if you consider that SRod should be playing most nights in one position or another. So I think it could open the door up once again for Frenchy 3.0. Additionally, I think that Adonis could be that guy if Jace is playing well and Snit chooses to give SRod more playing time at 3B. And Let’s not forget Ozzie. He’s due to make his appearance at some point. Once he arrives, it throws the whole thing off kilter. Once he’s here, there’s no longer a platoon at 2B, and SRod should play even more 3B unless Adonis just simply wins the everyday job. It’s a good problem to have.

    I could see a scenario where we sign a guy like Frenchy and keep him until mid-season, then trade him ahead of the Ozzie callup. Ber’s guy Trevor Plouffe is also a possibility. At this point he’s all bat and no glove, but might be a good late inning RH power bat off the bench. And might be in demand at the trade deadline too.

    But that’s sort of the scenario I envision… a RH guy with power to hold a roster spot for half a season. (Heck, Adonis could also be that guy if Rio looks ready to take over in a 3B platoon with SRod.)

    Liked by 2 people

  108. 112 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

    You know, now that I think about it, it could play out in a fashion such that we have an early season platoon at 2B with Jace and SRod, and then a late season platoon at 3B with Rio and SRod once Ozzie is called up, with Adonis going to the bench as the RH power bat. I could see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Or trades involving any of the guys you mentioned depending on what is viewed as a need by the first of June.

    Baseball fact: If you are playing well, you will get to play, if not, you will find yourself on the way off the team.

    I have not really looked at next season’s schedule as yet but I cannot imagine it being a tough as last season’s first six weeks. That stretch was brutal…

    Liked by 1 person

  110. 115 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Hmmm… lemme try that again…

    Like

  111. 116 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Like

  112. 117 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Nice job Coppy.

    Like

  113. 118 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Ironically, ex-Brave Ryan Weber was DFA’d by Seattle to make room for Whalen.

    Like

  114. 119 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Upon further review, my math had been off regarding the 40-man roster. It was pared to 34, then 3 were added for Rule 5 protection. Then to that 37, the team added Bartolo and RAD, then picked up Tuffy Gosewisch. There’s 40 right there. Sean Rodriguez has yet to be officially added, and trading Whalen opens the necessary spot for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. 121 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    This just got really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 122 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    He was a C in high school.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 123 berigan2electricboogaloo November 29, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Not to brag, but I was a C student in High School….

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Not to brag, but I was a C student in High School….

    “Consistent adequacy often out performs occasional excellence.” Ye olde DuPont proverb… 🙂

    I look for more of those creative trades which will allow for space to be made on the 40 man roster. While Whalen was not considered to be a long term Atlanta fixture, he did have his moments.

    Alex Jackson, no relation to Alan I would guess was the 6th over all pick in 2014? Somebody must have thought he had real potential.

    One would have to believe he is still several years away from making his major league debut. Still, with the addition of Demeritte and Jackson, you can see a pattern developing in the talent being acquired.

    Liked by 2 people

  119. 125 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Alex Jackson, no relation to Alan I would guess was the 6th over all pick in 2014? Somebody must have thought he had real potential.

    He was considered the best High School hitter available in that draft, but hasn’t performed as well in his brief 2 seasons as a pro as Seattle had hoped. IMO, you cannot judge a guy’s pro trajectory in 2 seasons. That’s ludicrous. Yet he was still their #6 rated prospect, and in the Top 100 of all of MLB in a couple of publications. Seattle apparently felt he was expendable, and Atlanta has a gracious plenty arms, many rated higher than either Whalen or Povse.

    And don’t forget the vaunted PTBNL coming back to ATL. The telling of this tale can’t be fully told until that player is defined, and really until these players reach, or don’t, the major league level. Still, on the surface it appears to be a good deal for both sides, with each dealing from an area of strength to fill an area of need.

    I think a comparison to Demeritte is not out of line. Jackson is a guy with tremendous power potential who simply needs to harness his swing and cut down on the K’s. It’s a familiar story, really. It literally separates who makes it and who doesn’t.

    He’s been an OF/DH in their system, but played C/OF/3B in high school. There is chatter that the Braves will give him a look at C, but even if that doesn’t pan out and he remains in the OF, you can never have too much RH power in your system.

    As I have read this morning, the deal will not become official until after the Winter Meetings and the Rule 5 draft. Procedural, of course. Just protects everyone’s assets. I always say you have to cover your assets.

    And this assumes the Winter Meetings still happen next week. There is chatter that they may be cancelled or delayed because of the CBA expiring on Dec. 1. We all need to hope that the knucklehead billionaires can settle their petty differences and reach agreement on a new CBA – or at least be making enough significant progress – and keep things moving along as usual. I read it described as billionaires arguing over pennies on the ground as billions fly away over their heads.

    Meh… labor unrest is not something I care to discuss. It isn’t pleasant. All I’ll say is that the timing for baseball to make a great comeback is afoot. The NFL is on a downswing, and the whole country is suddenly Cubs fans. Anything that halts baseball’s sudden national revival is just plain stupid. Middle Class Mike, who drives his used F-150 to the game and pays $6 for a ballpark hot dog, can’t quite grasp how billionaire players and owners who arrive at the bargaining table in their limos can’t agree on how to split their multi-billion dollar pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 126 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Newly acquired OF Alex Jackson arrives in the Braves Top 30 prospect list at #13, just ahead of the highly esteemed 3B Austin Riley (14) and well ahead of fellow OF’s Ronald Acuna (18), Dustin Peterson (19), and Braxton Davidson (23). And lesser known OF Christian Pache now enters the Top 30 for the first time at #30.

    Here is the full scouting report on the RH hitting Jackson:

    Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50

    Thought to be the best high school bat in the 2014 Draft class, and maybe the best overall hitter, Jackson’s name was mentioned in conversations about the No. 1 overall pick. He ended up being the third hitter off the board, taken No. 6 overall by the Mariners, and signed for $4.2 million. He struggled with a full-season assignment to the Midwest League to start 2015, hitting just .157 in 28 games, but got back on track after a move down to Short Season Everett. The Mariners held him back in extended spring training in 2016, noting that he needed to mature both on and off the field, before finally assigning him to Class A Clinton in May. While he showed some progress, the Mariners sent him to the Braves in late November in the trade that netted them Rob Whalen and Max Povse.

    Jackson packages bat speed with enormous strength to generate plus power from the right side of the plate. Though he projects to hit for average once fully developed, Jackson’s aggressive approach and lack of selectiveness have produced a disconcerting strikeout rate early in his career career. He moved from behind the plate to the outfield full time upon signing and spent the entire 2015 season in right field, where he shows an above-average arm and decent range but lacks overall fluidity.

    After left shoulder and left hand injuries limited him to only 76 games in 2015, Jackson has remained healthy in 2016 and showed more of the offensive upside that made him a no-doubt first-rounder two years ago, especially after he toned down the big leg kick in his swing. That being said, the gap between Jackson’s present ability and overall potential remains considerable, and there are many boxes he needs to check before advancing to the next level.

    Liked by 1 person

  121. 127 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Looks like a hitter to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  122. 128 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 9:06 am

    The photo of him displayed in one of the sights I visited last night made him favor a young Miguel Cabrera. He has put on bulk since being drafted.

    I would think the PTBNL will be dependent on how well Whalen and Povse do this spring. Povse y’all will remember was a big 6-7 kid drafted out of North Carolina. He put up decent numbers in Mississippi. Whalen was the other guy picked up from the Mets in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe.

    Whalen was a “soft tosser” who was effective but with Colmenter and Dicky and Colon, he was not going to see much playing time in Atlanta in 2017 i don’t think.

    Liked by 2 people

  123. 129 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Agree, Gil. Whalen was a “nice pickup”, but probably will not ever be anything above a #5 starter or 4 at best. Probably more suited as a long reliever. One writer likened him to Kris Medlen-lite, although I think Medlen’s changeup in his prime was one of the best I ever saw. Whalen doesn’t have that.

    Povse is a kid with potential for sure, but he still doesn’t have the upside of our studs such as Newcomb, Fried, Allard, Anderson, Soroka, Wentz, Toussant, Sims and Muller. I hope he turns into a great ML pitcher… much in the same way that I hope Jackson turns into a great ML hitter.

    As to the PTBNL, I imagine they need to wait on that part to sort out the roster spots. They’re already full at 40 even with Whalen being dealt. Once the Winter Meetings have wrapped and the Rule 5 draft is complete, they can make other roster adjustments as necessary.

    I get the feeling that Coppy is just getting started. Lucas Sims probably shouldn’t get too used to the idea of pitching in Gwinnett, just a handful of miles from where he played his high school ball. John Gant might not want to get too comfortable either.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 9:34 am

    A couple of positions where there does not appear to much future for the kids still in the Braves minor league system, first base, shortstop, second base, centerfield. Areas where there is always opportunity, pitching, catching, left field. Also after the departure of Chipper, third base.

    Of course, if you can hit, they will make a place for you, somewhere, same goes for pitching, can you throw strikes? Will you pitch inside? Can you throw 100 mph?

    Liked by 2 people

  125. 131 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Somebody over there in those offices is doing some heavy lifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Also shows how much of an inexact science first round draft picks can be in baseball.

    Liked by 1 person

  127. 133 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Upcoming dates to pay attention to:

    #1 -> Dec. 1: The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the players’ union expires. This is a potentially explosive issue that needs to be resolved quickly.

    #2 -> Dec. 2: Deadline for teams to decide whether to tender contracts to their arb-eligible players. The Braves have a handful that could be non-tendered. Bowman thinks Chris Withrow and Paco Rodriguez are the strongest candidates.

    #3 -> Dec. 4-8: Winter Meetings in DC (well, technically in National Harbor, MD) which of course concludes with the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 8. This could potentially be affected by #1.

    Liked by 1 person

  128. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I’m sure someone, somewhere has done the heavy lifting of calculating the actual number of players who make it to the majors vs their relative draft positions and the number of years between being drafted and when they make it to the show. Ooo Ooo.. looks like a great topic ripe for a government grant.

    Kids don’t like food which has been sneezed on! Who knew? Now we know for sure thanks to an official NHI study which only cost $200,000…

    Liked by 2 people

  129. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Okay, found some info on draft position vs potential to play in the show: About 75% of those chosen in the first round end up playing in the big leagues. Typical time between draft and appearance in the majors is 3 years but often 5 years if said draftee is a high school player.

    Liked by 1 person

  130. 136 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I have to admit I’m still a little baffled as to why the Braves claimed catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and burned a roster spot in the process. He’s already 33, he’s a RH bat, and he’s never hit at the major league level. I don’t believe at age 33 he’s suddenly gonna figure it out.

    If he were a LH bat, you might could almost see the logic in having him back up the RH TFlow. But what does Gosewisch give you that Recker doesn’t? Is he just going to be depth at AAA? Can’t you accomplish that with someone younger than 33?

    Well, considering the Braves re-signed Blake Lalli, and then signed minor league FA David Freitas, one would think they have plenty of AAA catchers.

    I’m not so sure that they’ll tender Gosewisch. Maybe the PTBNL from SEA will be a minor league catcher. They have a few in the fold… problem is that all of them above A level are all RH. And only one sneaks into their Top 30 prospects… at #30.

    One thing should be a given… if they do pick up another catcher in the next few weeks, Gosewisch should be the odd man out on this roster. For that matter, if they pick up anybody, Gosewisch should be the odd man out.

    Liked by 2 people

  131. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Sometimes, a player is claimed because at the time they are available, no one else is. Perhaps you can nudge one of the pundits on your local radio outlets to broach the subject with Coppy or Hart when they are on thier program.

    I know the Braves seriously need to work on holding runners, throwing out runners, quicker deliveries etc because opposing teams were able to steal the Braves blind on the base paths last year.

    Of course, when you have a bunch of young guys towing the rubber every night and they are still trying to avoid serving up a bunch of gofer balls, holding runners is not foremost on your mind.

    There is a lot more to catching than just showing up at game time. Volumes could be filled about what I didn’t know about catching when I played. that and just because you know what sould be done does not always translate into being able to actually doing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  132. 138 Carolina Lady November 29, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Nice article Here about John Shuetholz.

    Liked by 2 people

  133. 140 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    News:

    Yoenis Cespedis is going back to NYM on a huge deal, reportedly 4-years/$110M according to Rosenthal’s sources.

    $27.5M per year… dang…

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 141 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Quite entertaining, uh… “analysis” of the Braves pickup of Tuffy Gosewisch:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30734

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 142 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Chop on, bro.

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 143 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 8:31 am

    The sources speak good news. Let’s hope it gets done today.

    My only remaining commentary is that it appears that the owners have given up everything, and the MLBPA has budged on nothing. It’s none of my business, but it would seem that the players feel they have all the leverage, and they’re taking full advantage of it.

    Thus far, the owners have given up the QO system, they have given up draft compensation, and they have given up hopes for an int’l draft. The only remaining issue is the luxury tax threshold, which is also being whittled away. The players want full unfettered free agency, and they’re getting closer and closer.

    Remember when the housing bubble burst and the whole housing market collapsed on itself? Remember that? I do. It took alot of years to resuscitate. Still hasn’t fully recovered. But it’s none of my business. I do hope the owners have retained some type of compensation system. If not, the small market teams will simply become nothing more than farm systems for the big market teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  137. 144 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Yes, the big money players, for the most part, could give a whit about the other 23 or 24 players on a team necessary to fill out a team. The agents, couth Scot Boras, only really care about the 1% they represent and extract their pound of flesh for their services.

    Now, do I feel sorry for the owners? Not a bit, but I do feel sorry for the Pittsburghs and the Washingtons who do not have the same fan base as Chicago, LA or New York. May as well go back to an eight team league and the rest become AAAA clubs to feed the haves. I guess we all need the Padres, the modern day version of the Expos, to develop supply those who can afford the All-stars.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see but I know what happens when one side or the other gains too much power. It always ends badly in the long run for the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  138. 145 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Like

  139. 146 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha…

    Liked by 2 people

  140. 148 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Jayson Stark’s best line from the above linked piece:

    If a $10 billion industry can’t solve basic issues without a work stoppage, at a moment in time when the sport is at its highest point in popularity in years, why should fans buy into what seemed to be a bright future?

    That’s the bottom line.

    Liked by 2 people

  141. 149 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Bringing it back to ATL…

    Coppy & Co.’s most pressing concern is Friday’s tender deadline. The Braves have 7 arb aligible players, those being Ender Inciarte, Arodys Vizcaino, Chris Withrow, Ian Krol, Anthony Recker, Paco Rodriguez, and Tuffy Gosewisch.

    Ender, Vizzy and Krol are no-brainers. But there is argument over Withrow and Rodriguez, primarily over health concerns. Each is projected to make in the $1M range, do non-tendering one or both would not only open a coule of roster spots but save a couple million $ in the process.

    As for Recker and Tuffy, well… we kinda touched on that yesterday. I can’t imagine why they’d need both, but then again I can’t imagine why they picked up Tuffy in the first place. Recker is also projected in the $1M range, while Tuffy is a little less at an estimated $600K. Just drops in a much bigger bucket for the Braves though.

    I suppose there is the possibility that the Braves could sign or trade for a catcher between now and Friday which would impact this whole scenario. But assuming they don’t, my gut tells me they keep both catchers and lose one or both of the pitchers. Honestly, the Braves bullpen is probably the most stable part of the team right now, and there are alot of candidates for spots.

    Jimmy John, RH closer
    Vizzy, RH setup
    Mauricio, RH setup
    Krol, LH
    Jose Ram, RH
    Chaz Roe, RH
    Collmenter or WillyP, RH long relief

    And that doesn’t even account for John Gant, Shae Simmons, Jason Hursch, Dan Winkler (who as a Rule 5 draftee still must spend some time on the active roster or be offered back) or non-roster invitee Jordan Walden.

    Yep… the more I type about this, the more I think that both Withrow and Rodriguez could be non-tendered.

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 150 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    One note… if you look at the above list of pitchers, the Braves only have 1 LHRP, being Ian Krol. And while Paco Rodriguez is a lefty, I get the sense from the resources I’ve read that the Braves aren’t sold on him being healthy and effective in 2017.

    Don’t be surprised if Coppy doesn’t look to bring in another… say former Brave and Marlin Mike Dunn maybe? That could also be something they could target in Rule 5. A dark horse candidate is young lefty A.J. Minter, who is considered to be the future closer. He’s slated for a season at AAA Gwinnett, but could win a job out of Spring Training if he’s considered 100% recovered from his own March 2015 TJ surgery. He was very effective in limited innings across various levels last season. The other in-house candidates would be minor league FA signee Adam Kolarek and the recently outrighted (and medical marvel) Matt Marksberry.

    Every one of those I mentioned above will require a roster spot… most likely the one currently occupied by Paco.

    Liked by 1 person

  143. 151 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    One last note on that…

    Utilizing Minter as a strict lefty specialist, facing 1 or 2 batters max per appearance, would certainly limit his innings and the strain on his surgically repaired elbow, and at the same time allow the Braves to use Krol in a more traditional relief role.

    Like

  144. 152 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Ha ha ha… now even MLBTR is reading our little piece of cyber-heaven for material. They just posted their list of non-tender candidates. Let’s see… who’d they list from the Braves?

    Braves: Chris Withrow ($1.2MM), Anthony Recker ($1MM), Paco Rodriguez ($900K), Tuffy Gosewisch ($600K)

    Needless to say, I agree. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  145. 153 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    The future.

    Like

  146. 154 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    The above was in response to this:

    Like

  147. 155 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Whew. Glad they got that in before a possible shutdown. 😉

    Kidding… kidding… (not really)

    Like

  148. 156 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    SeanRod looks like Nick Markakis’ little brother. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  149. 157 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Neat.

    Like

  150. 158 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Very interesting indeed.

    Like

  151. 159 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Dodged some nasty storms here this afternoon. Some “rotational winds” passed just to the south and just to the north of me, but none directly over me. Praise the Lord!!

    Liked by 2 people

  152. 160 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    but none directly over me. Praise the Lord!!

    AMEN!

    Liked by 3 people

  153. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    http://m.mlb.com/player/430910/brayan-pena

    Bryan Pena granted unconditional release from the Cardinals.

    He is a switch hitter, decent arm and glove, was hurt most of last season. Would cost the Braves major league minimum. I’m in…

    Liked by 2 people

  154. 162 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Good morning to all, and labor peace continues for another 5 years.

    Yay!

    Liked by 2 people

  155. 163 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Highlights of the new CBA:

    There is a modified QO system in place. 1st round choices are no longer lost. 2nd, 3rd, and/or 5th rounders are forfeited instead. According to Rosenthal’s sources, a team whose QO-declining player signs elsewhere will only receive compensation if that player signs for $50M or more, and the draft compensation will be dependent upon the market size of the team that loses a free agent. Players will no longer be able to receive more than a single QO.

    No int’l draft, but the int’l draft pool system has been greatly modified. According to Jayson Stark, every ML team will have a total bonus pool of about $5M to sign foreign-born amateur players. And it’s a hard cap; teams cannot exceed it. Cuban players who are at least 25 years old and have 6 years of Serie Nacional experience will be exempt from these limitations.

    The luxury tax threshold for the big spending teams will go up incrementally each year over the 5 year agreement beginning in year 1.

    Roster sizes had been discussed, but there were no changes made there.

    There are alot of other little wrinkles here and there, but maybe the most intriguing was reported by Joel Sherman – the league will ban incoming MLB players from using smokeless tobacco, with existing players grandfathered in. As Mel Allen used to say, “How about that?”

    Of course, this is just the agreement that was reached. It must still be ratified by members of both sides. But that should just be a formality.

    It looks like compromise was indeed made between the 2 sides, and I for one am happy that labor peace continues.

    Liked by 1 person

  156. 164 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Here’s a couple more details that I just found in an AP report, and there good’uns:

    The All-Star Game no longer determine home-field advantage in the World Series. Praise the lord! The team with the better regular season record earns the advantage, as it should be. To keep the participating All-Star teams engaged, players will instead have the incentive to play for a pool of money. Money talks, right?

    Also, the minimum stay on the disabled list will be reduced from 15 days to 10. Isn’t that interesting? That would appear to me to facilitate a little DL fudging to shuffle players around on the roster, but whatever. As long as all teams are on a level playing field, let ’em fudge.

    There is also a plan for potential games in Asia, Mexico, Latin America and Britain, plus special events like last year’s Fort Bragg game.

    Liked by 2 people

  157. 165 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Just to put the new $5M hard cap on int’l bonus money in perspective, the Braves spent around $12M this past year. Timing is everything, right? Some speculate that the team sensed a limit was coming, and that’s why they worked so hard to acquire those spending slots and go all in last year.

    I wouldn’t put anything past Coppy. He’s a pretty savvy dude.

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 166 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Back to local news, Braves catching hopeful Tuffy Gosewisch has avoided arb and agreed to a 1-year deal. According to DO’B, the specific financial terms weren’t immediately known yet. MLBTR has speculated he was in line for a deal in the $600K range.

    As I mentioned yesterday, those $$ are pretty inconsequential in the overall payroll. The more important detail is that he will obviously not be non-tendered. As I’ve already mentioned several times, he’s nothing more than a depth piece. He doesn’t appear to bring anything more than we got from Recker last season, but that’s what competition is all about, right? He must be a highly rated “pitch framer”, which is the new sexy in catchers.

    Liked by 1 person

  159. 167 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Speaking of the tender deadline (tomorrow), Mr. OB also has this to say:

    The tender/non-tender decisions aren’t quite as clear for the others on the list, given the post-Tommy John surgery elbow issues experienced by [Chris] Withrow and [Paco] Rodriguez.

    Withrow… only pitched in seven games after Aug. 4 and missed the final two weeks with elbow soreness.

    Rodriguez missed the entire season recovering from September 2015 elbow surgery and last pitched on May 29, 2015, two months before he was traded by the Dodgers to the Braves.

    It seems to be a popular line of thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

  160. 168 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha… gotta love a guy that can laugh at himself. Respect!

    Liked by 2 people

  161. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Will keep it short as I am waiting on my car being serviced. I think a move is afoot so the Braves will play out the tender offers.

    Liked by 2 people

  162. 170 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Gil, you mentioned Brayan Pena. Bowman says this about him:

    If the Braves don’t sign another catcher within the next few days, it would seemingly make sense to tender a contract to Recker. But with Brayan Pena now officially a free agent, Atlanta could make a run at him and provide him a chance to return where he began his career. Pena cried the day the Braves released him in 2008, and he has kept close tabs on the club as he has spent the past eight years playing elsewhere.

    I also read somewhere that he has remained close to Eddie Perez.

    Liked by 2 people

  163. 171 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I think a move is afoot

    Bowman speculates that the Braves are ready to take the next step in the rebuild, and that they could still be busy at the Winter Meetings despite the fact that they’ve already been busy over the last 4 weeks.

    Of course he notes the obvious need at catcher, but he also believes they might be ready to deal some young arms to land a front line starter.

    I think it’s also germane to the conversation to add that we know the Braves made a hard run at Edinson Volquez just last week before he signed with MIA. That means Coppy is very serious about further enhancing the rotation and isn’t done yet.

    One thing is for sure… next week will undoubtedly define where the Braves believe they are in The Plan. It could also impact the direction of this team for many years down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  164. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2016 at 11:55 am

    </>I think it’s also germane to the conversation to add that we know the Braves made a hard run at Edinson Volquez just last week before he signed with MIA.

    Something I learned from my poker playing days… Second best hands will break you.

    Liked by 1 person

  165. 173 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    RE: Edinson Volquez

    Personally, I’m glad he’s going further south and not landing here.

    Since his age 30 season in 2014, his ERA and WHIP (walks + hits per inning) have steadily gone up:

    2014 -> age = 30, ERA= 3.04, WHIP = 1.230
    2015 -> age = 31, ERA= 3.55, WHIP = 1.308
    2016 -> age = 32, ERA= 5.37, WHIP = 1.548

    Maybe the worst is this stat:

    2014 -> Earned Runs = 65
    2015 -> Earned Runs = 79
    2016 -> Earned Runs = 113

    In case you thought his innings might contribute to the huge spike in ER, no no no. They actually went down a little:

    2014 -> Earned Runs = 65, IP = 192.2
    2015 -> Earned Runs = 79, IP = 200.1
    2016 -> Earned Runs = 113, IP = 189.1

    How about Hits allowed and HR’s allowed?

    2014 -> Hits = 166, HR = 17
    2015 -> Hits = 190, HR = 16
    2016 -> Hits = 217, HR = 23

    IMO, we dodged a bullet when he chose The Fish. Then again, maybe rather than having the second best hand, Coppy has a better grasp on what Volquez is worth and simply folded when the pot got to big. The Marlins are going to give Volquez $11M for each of 2017 and 2018. That’s some expensive mediocrity.

    Liked by 2 people

  166. 174 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Reports say that the Nats and Pirates are “accelerating talks” on an Andrew McCutchen trade. Yowser.

    Like

  167. 176 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  168. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Braves add Jamie Garcia after trade with Cards. Gant, Ellis and Dystra going to St Louis.

    Like

  169. 178 Carolina Lady December 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/210045582/braves-trade-for-pitcher-jaime-garcia/?partnerId=as_atl_20161202_68420856&adbid=10154213626442831&adbpl=fb&adbpr=35071097830

    Braves trade for pitcher Jaime Garcia. By Cash Kruth

    The Braves acquired left-hander Jaime García from the Cardinals on Thursday for three prospects.

    Atlanta is sending right-handers Chris Ellis and John Gant, and infielder Luke Dykstra to St. Louis. All three were part of MLBPipeline.com’s list of Atlanta’s Top 30 Prospects, with Ellis ranked 17th, Gant 21st and Dykstra 29th.
    Garcia, 30, was 10-13 with a 4.67 ERA in 32 games (30 starts) for St. Louis in 2016. He is 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA in eight Major League seasons, all with the Cardinals.

    García is under contract through next season, during which he is owed $12 million.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hart: “Watch the trades, John.”

    Coppy: “Why?”

    Hart: “We’re down to our last 935 pitchers now. Be careful!”

    Liked by 3 people

  170. 179 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2016 at 6:31 am

    ummm….errrr…..

    Like

  171. 180 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2016 at 6:37 am

    V, what’s not to like about Tuffy? .that he hit 156 BA in a hitters park? or his .224 OBP? That he’s 33? Or that he has never had more than 129 AB’s in any MLB season? oh sure pick on the guy just cuz he’s never been a very good, or even passable hitter….you meanie! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  172. 181 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Ok, now we have a left handed starter….he wasn’t very good last year though…he did make 32 starts (171 innings, yawn) but in the previous 4 seasons, he never made more than 20 starts a year…so I guess when he goes down with an injury, that’s when Wisler, or Blair will get another chance in the majors….
    I think someone has forgotten that Roger McDowell is no longer here, and we have no earthly idea if the new guy can fix guys coming off poor seasons…well, time will tell hopefully whatshisface is a good pitching coach, and I will be forced to remember his name 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  173. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 7:48 am

    🙂

    Like

  174. 183 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 8:08 am

    This deal is not about coaching a guy up. This deal is about a guy being healthy. Yes, he’s been injured a good bit. But when he’s healthy, he’s been very good.

    So what did we give up for him? We gave up 3 guys that weren’t in our Top 15… and arguably weren’t in our Top 20.

    We gave up John Gant, who is a #5 starter/long reliever at best. We gave up Chris Ellis, who walked 87 batters in just 147 IP last season, and had a disturbing 6.65 ERA in 15 starts in AAA. Oh… and he’s already 24. And we gave up 2B Luke Dykstra, whose best claim to fame is his ‘roid chugging father Lenny. Dykstra is a 2B, who falls in line behind Jace, SeanRod, Ozzie, and Travis Demeritte.

    So again, Coppy dealt from an area of surplus to fill an immediate need. And he gave up very little of the team’s future for the high ceiling of Garcia, who only has one year left on his deal. See the pattern here?

    Bottom line is this… none of Gant, Ellis or Dykstra really figured into the team’s long term plans. If Garcia is healthy – and one has to assume that the Braves’ medical team signed off on the deal – he can be a perfect LH #3 guy in this revamped rotation.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 184 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 8:26 am

    So as it currebtly stands, the new Braves rotation looks something like this:

    Julio
    Bartolo
    Garcia
    RAD
    Folty

    And we haven’t even gotten to the Winter Meetings yet.

    Rumors are once again swirling that Coppy is still talking to the ChiSox about Chris Sale, and that he’s serious about bringing in a bona fide ace with a few years of control remaining. And as DO’B has pointed out repeatedly, Sale is signed for ’17 w/ club-friendly options in ’18 and ’19. Only owed $38M over those 3 yrs — a STEAL for arm like him in today’s market.

    So 2 questions are raised:

    #1- If Coppy were to be able to pull off such a deal, how does it affect Folty, who now looks like our 5th starter?

    #2- What would the cost be?

    Well, I think the 2 questions go hand in hand. And I must once again cite Mr. O’B, who has answered these questions repeatedly on his twitter feed.

    First, the Braves simply will NOT deal Dansby. That’s a non-starter. And if they are willing to include Ozzie, his late season injury hurts his trade value. So what do you have to give up to induce the South Siders to trade? Well, you might have to give up Julio Teheran.

    Now why would you do that, given his effectiveness and his own team friendly deal? Simply because he holds alot of trade value, and even as good as he is he’s no Chris Sale. Sale is a real ace… hands down. He would be the best starting pitcher we’ve had since the golden days of Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz. I place him ahead of Huddy, who was a great one here.

    So who would you rather have?

    Sale = 3 more years for $38M (as shown above)
    Julio = 3 more years for $25M + $12M team option for 2020.

    I love Julio, but I’ll take Sale. And then your 2017 rotation looks like this:

    Sale
    Bartolo
    Garcia
    RAD
    Folty

    This offseason has already provided alot of fireworks. I sense there are more explosions to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 185 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Another way to look at it is the Braves have added a lot of mentors to the team. Lots of seasoned Vet from whom many years of experience can be gleaned.

    I am under no delusions the Braves will contend for a World Series title in 2017. They are still a couple of years away from that, but they are allowing their young guns to gain some experience in a much less stressful environment. That and it makes the pitching staff much deeper.

    I think whoever the Braves utilize as their number 5 is going to have a very good year this season. I also believe Julio remains the Braves number 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  177. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I don’t know Vee, I think trading Julio would be taking a step back. While Sale is a great pitcher, you still need more than one great pitcher on a staff. After all, Sale was on a White Sox staff that did not fare all that well. He is only one player, you still need someone to toe the rubber the other five turns. I think the Dodgers is a good example of that. Speaking of whom really have one of the best collections of talent in their farm system. I know we don’t hear that much about them but they do have some real talent in their system.

    Liked by 2 people

  178. 187 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I don’t know Vee, I think trading Julio would be taking a step back. While Sale is a great pitcher, you still need more than one great pitcher on a staff.

    I do not disagree with that, but I am talking strictly from a one to one comparison. Who would you rather have as your #1 pitcher? Julio Teheran or Chris Sale? I would take Sale in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  179. 188 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Here’s something else to think about…

    They signed RAD to a 1 year deal with a team option. They signed Bartolo to a 1 year deal. They have 1 year of control remaining on Garcia.

    One or two of those three will be traded at the trade deadline. Bank on it. The season’s first 3 months will decide which one has the most demand and is the most likely to go. Matt Wisler and/or Aaron Blair and/or Sean Newcomb are all in line to be inserted. So while we did give up a few lesser prospects for Garcia, we’ll gain some back in July.

    It’s like a big multi-million dollar chess board, and we’ve got a pretty good player on our side.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:14 am

    One for one. Sure, but it won’t be one for one. I think it would take a couple of the Braves young pitcher (Wisler, Folty etc plus a couple of their higher rated prospects, Mallex, Ozzie etc… You are putting a lot of eggs in one basket for one rooster. I want a new Mercedes , it is a much nicer car than my Cadillac but I am not sure I want to pay the difference in price just for a little better ride and I can’t speak German if it breaks down.

    Liked by 2 people

  181. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:28 am

    One point to make about the Braves current acquisition of oldseasoned arms is the expectation with the addition of Kemp to the line up, they expect to score enough runs to survive giving up 3+ runs per game.

    I know, nothing is a given but I am certain the Braves brass felt that trying to come back from being 6 runs down on a nightly basis was not going to cut it in 2017.

    I think the Braves feel they will be entertaining and with the addition of a new stadium, they can generate enough interest too keep enough fannies in the seats to not be embarrass on TV.

    Still need to have a solid offense.

    To me, what is scary is the idea of McCutchen play in centerfield for the gnats. I would love to have him on my team.

    I think Andrew suffered a bit from a Sampson syndrome after shearing his dreds…

    I also think SRod will garner the majority of the playing time at 2nd base until Ozzie arrives.

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Blair, Newcomb, Wisler… I’d say Gwinnett is going to have a pretty stacked starting rotation going into 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  183. 192 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    For the record, I do NOT believe a deal for Sale will happen, so it’s all speculative anyway. I think Coppy set the bar last year with the “Shelby trade”. All teams want the same kind of return now. I don’t think ATL will give that back up. Not even for Chris Sale.

    What will facilitate a deal is ATL taking on another bad contract along with a premier pitcher. Now that is a scenario I can see happening. Who is wanting to shed payroll? Well, the ChiSox, Rays and Tiggers come to mind. We might can pillage one of those teams.

    But here’s what I’d like to see get done… I’d like to see us stand pat on our new rotation and trade for 3B Todd Frazier or Evan Longoria or even 2B Ian Kinsler. None would cost a Shelbian ransom, and all would be a huge step forward from Adonis. In the case of Kinsler, he would be the everyday 2B with SeanRod taking over at 3B. Kinsler’s on the last year of his deal and wouldn’t block Ozzie in 2018. He’d also be a prime mid-season trade candidate.

    2016 numbers that matter:

    Frazier (R) -> .225/.302/.464, 40 HR, 98 RBI

    Longo (R) -> .273/.318/.521, 36 HR, 98 RBI

    Kinsler (R) -> .288/.348/.484, 28 HR, 83 RBI

    Imagine any of those 3 guys batting behind Matt Kemp. Imagine this batting order:

    Ender (L), CF
    Dansby (R), SS
    Freddie (L), 1B
    MattyK (R), LF
    Frazier/Longo/Kinsler (R), 3B/2B
    Kakes (L), RF
    SeanRod (R), 2B/3B
    TFlow/? (R/L), C

    That lineup plays, folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Chris Ellis may yet make it to the bigs but I think he is still at least a couple of years away from the show. I think he is still growing into his body and is going through his awkward phase.

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I would take any of the three you mention but would favor Longoria and Kinsler over Frazier. Any of the three would see Peterson being traded off to somebody.

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

    One last shot… If you are going to be traded, landing in the Cardinal’s system is a pretty good spot to alit.

    Liked by 2 people

  187. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 11:53 am

    So, have the Braves approached Pena yet? I don’t see anyone else out there who is a better fit right now. The Braves have acquired so the have their designated enforcer to take over for AJ. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  188. 197 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Blair, Newcomb, Wisler… I’d say Gwinnett is going to have a pretty stacked starting rotation going into 2017.

    And don’t forget about Tyrell Jenkins and Lucas Sims.

    Liked by 1 person

  189. 198 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    So, have the Braves approached Pena yet?

    Probably waiting to see who might be non-tendered by other teams, and also what might become of Recker.

    Even after the trades, the 40-man roster is still full for now. Unless Brayan was willing to take a minor league deal with a Spring invitation, there’s been no room. But that will change within the next few hours when the non-tender decisions are made.

    I am still of the belief that both Withrow and Paco are goners. I can’t get a feel for Recker. I still don’t understand the Tuffy deal. But if catching depth is the goal, then you won’t non-tender Recker unless you know you have another catcher coming on board.

    Non-tendering both Withrow and Paco would open up 2 spots and create an opening for a possible signing of Pena. ‘Tis the season to be fluid.

    Like

  190. 199 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hey…

    How about that weirdness that’s going on in Venezuela regarding their WBC team? Word was out early yesterday that Omar Vizquel was out as their manager and that Eddie Perez was in. Now most of the team is saying they won’t play if Vizquel is booted. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez posted an Instagram pic yesterday showing himself and 6 other star players saying “Together in the name of baseball, Venezuela, and our manager Omar Vizquel. The united team, without Vizquel we do not participate in the World Classic.” Well, that’s the English translation of what it says, anyway.

    Guess who is in the picture? Yep… the Braves’ own Ender Inciarte. That could make for some awkward moments in Disney this spring, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  191. 200 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    For the record, the non-tender deadline is 8pm ET. I thought it was noon. But 8pm? That’s kind of an odd time, don’tcha think?

    Anyway, that’s when it is… 8pm.

    Liked by 1 person

  192. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I don’t think of it as a swipe at Eddie, just a vote of confidence for Omar. I guess it is political on the part of the government. I don’t know because I have not been following the WBC, although I guess I should.

    Who did Vizquel tick off?

    Liked by 3 people

  193. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Vee, I would guess it is to allow the west coast teams the time to wake up and get out of bed…

    Liked by 3 people

  194. 203 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Wow. The Nats just picked up Derek Norris. I didn’t see that coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 204 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Recker avoids arb and signs a 1 year deal. Makes sense. Welington Castillo was just non-tendered by ARI. He’s another righty, so not an ideal compliment to TFlow. But he’s a decent catching option.

    Like

  196. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Still rather have Pena. Can be had for ML minimum. Still, I think the Braves would like to make a couple of trades to answer their roster log jam.

    Liked by 1 person

  197. 206 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    No word on their non-tenders yet. Monitoring…

    Like

  198. 207 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Like

  199. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Kind of saw that coming. John Hart was pretty high on Paco, never heard a word on Withrow.

    Like

  200. 209 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Like

  201. 210 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Like

  202. 211 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Thought they might.

    Like

  203. 212 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Ugh… I forget it doesn’t show the whole conversation. The question was:

    Like

  204. 213 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Castillo in 2016: .264/.322/.423, 14 HR, 68 RBI

    He has thrown out 106 of 340 would be base stealers in his career and 24 of 64 last year.

    Like

  205. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 8:28 am

    While not spectacular, Castillo is pretty solid. The $600K for which Recker and Tuffy Gosewich were signed is lunch money. Either one could be stashed in Triple A or released before spring.

    Right handed or not, he is a better defensive guy than the guys the Braves have signed now.

    Liked by 1 person

  206. 215 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 9:17 am

    The new sexy in catching is “pitch framing”, or the ability to gain strikes for your pitchers. Coppy reportedly values that greatly for his staff. Castillo ranks slightly below average according to StatsCorner. Conversely, TFlow was 4th in baseball. That said, Castillo did rank slightly ahead of Tuffy Gosewisch and well ahead of Recker.

    Like

  207. 216 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Brayan Pena ranks fairly high in that category.

    Like

  208. 217 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 9:27 am

    The Cubs veteran Miguel Montero was 3rd on that list and could be a trade possibility. There have been rumblings and the Braves have been connected.

    Like

  209. 218 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 9:33 am

    … and he’s a lefty, too.

    Like

  210. 219 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Pitch framing Also known as having an increase in the number of passed balls allowed… Just saying…

    Pretty sure we will see a big turn over in players in Arizona. It takes a while turning around a team but the D’Backs really missed the boat last season after signing Grinke. Of course the failure of Shelby Miller and the loss of AJ Pollock to begin the season put them in a big hole.

    I think we as Braves fans can attest to the difference having your outfield at full strength can make.

    Like

  211. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I think the Braves have some viable options available to them as far as adding another catcher. The benefit of a trade is it often does not necessitate placing someone on waivers to make room for the new hire.

    While I have not really researched it, knowing who still has options is important too. One thing I believe we can agree on it the Braves have improved both their infield as well as their bench with the addition of SRod.

    I am of the mind that Jace Peterson will be the guy on the bubble this spring. A lot depends on how many relievers the Braves feel compelled to carry. It should not be as many as last season when you had a bunch of kids who struggled to get past the fifth inning starting each night.

    While last season began with the Braves seeing way too much of the Nationals the first month of the season, this year it will be the Mets. While the Mets are solid, I don’t think the hold the same sway over the Bravos as the gNats have of late.

    Like

  212. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Another point is that both Recker and Gosewich are signed for what amounts to ML minimum. I doubt all thirty teams will make it through spring training without someone getting hurt. Lats, groins, hammys and knees are always susceptible to breaking down.

    Still, the need for a veteran catcher is somewhat diminished with a gray bearded pitching staff. One thing I feel certain of is that we won’t see too many melt downs on the mound this season, something that tends to plague young hurlers.

    Like

  213. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I still believe Julio is the number one on the current staff as it currently is projected. Folty will benefit from a reduction of innings by virtue of being a number 5 in a rotation. All of the kids (Blair, Wisler etc) will benefit by not being rushed to the show but I suspect they will go through some angst not being in the show. You can get pretty spoiled not having to carry your own luggage and better sleeping accommodations and other perks which come by virtue of being a big leaguer.

    My advice to them, pitch with a little anger and keep your ears open when guys like Colon, Garcia and Dicky speak. You simply cannot glean that level of wisdom from watching videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 223 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Julio is our #1 easily.

    If I were in charge, I’d stand pat with our new rotation, and with TFlow/Recker. I’d focus my energies and resources on upgrading 3B.

    Why?

    We have young pitching coming and Jonathan Lucroy will be available next off-season. But 3B is not so clearly fixed. I like the options I laid out yesterday.

    Like

  215. 224 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I’m my rotation, I want to split the junk ballers, so I go Julio, Bartolo, Jaime, RAD, Folty.

    Like

  216. 225 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Folty is going to love following RA Dicky… Can’t disagree on your assessment Vee, third base looks to be the spot with the most potential for an upgrade. There are guys out there, you just have to be lucky to get them.

    Like

  217. 226 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    If there is any doubt as to how a major league ball club vies money, the Braves just bought a $1MM lottery ticket.

    The Braves claimed lefty reliever Jacob Lindgren from the Yankees. Lindgren, out of Mississippi State had Tommy John surgery in August of this year and will not pitch in 2017, the Braves had to add him to their 40 man roster but will place him on the 60 day DL at the beginning of spring training.

    Hey, it’s not real money, it’s monopoly money and I guess the Braves feel it’s cheaper than signing a first or second round pick, after all, Jacob has had some success in the bigs, just broke down. We will have to wait and see what develops because the Braves 40 man roster is now full. That means somebody else will be on the bubble if the Braves want to participate in the rule 5 draft.

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    The Biloxi native wrote on his Twitter page, “I am excited to announce I have signed with the Braves. Most kids in the ‘Sip grew up doing the chop. I am blessed to live a dream.

    Hey, we have a dream too kid… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  219. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    The Nationals are said to be pursuing Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen… Whew.. that would be some tough sledding there if the pick up both. They have some talent available but I am not sure if they are that deep to pull off both players without completely emptying out their minor league system.

    The good news is at least Trea Turner would be playing for someone else. He became quite the Braves killer in DC last season.

    I am not certain who the gNats are looking to take over the first base duties from Ryan Zimmerman while he is still playing for Washington, he is a bit like the Mets’ David Wright in his inability to stay on the field.

    Like

  220. 229 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Wellington Castillo is being pursued by at least three teams, the Braves, the Rays and the Orioles… Think we have a chance?

    Liked by 1 person

  221. 230 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    So, the B&S will be 9 years young tomorrow… who would have thunk it?

    Liked by 3 people

  222. 232 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 233 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Like

  224. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Current trade chips in the Braves bag: Anyone not named Julio, Freddie and Dansby and Ender, I think everyone else is fair game. Just not a lot of them at one time. If the Braves have to throw in a Matt Wisler or Blair or even Ozzie etc., they are not going to trade a bunch of them for one guy. They would likely toss in someone like Jace, or Demerrit and not look back but they will not trade 4 or 5 players for one unless it included a bunch of Single A players.

    In other words, they will not give back a bunch of players they acquired from the Padres or Astros.

    Sometimes you can get too cute, after all, even with Chris Sale, the White Sox did not win their division.

    A team like the Dodgers or Nationals or Cubs can afford to go big on free agents or trades because they pretty much have a set line up. I’m sure the gNats would trade either Gio or Strasburg for Sale. The Braves are still more than one pitcher away from being in the mix.

    Despite their impressive September record, they still have to make a full season run. As they sit right now, I think the Braves are an 85 win team…

    Like

  225. 235 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

    That means somebody else will be on the bubble if the Braves want to participate in the rule 5 draft.

    I don’t think the Braves will be doing muchy Rule 5 shopping this year. In fact, Lindgren’s signing is pretty much the equivalent of their Rule 5 shopping for this year, with the added advantage of not having to burn a 25 man roster spot. And they don’t have a place to stash a Rule 5 draftee, especially when you consider that they still have to keep Dan Winkler on the active roster for 55 more days once he returns from the DL or offer him back to the Rockies.

    I think the only way they’d make any Rule 5 claim is if they have a guy targeted that they really want, like a lefty hitting catcher or something, in which case he’ll just bump the next guy down off the roster.

    Speaking of Jacob Lindgren, IMO snagging Lindren away from NYY was a nice get by the Braves and shows that Coppy’s minions are paying attention. Mr. O’B opines that NYY never wanted to let Lindgren get away and that the Yanks were hoping to bring him back him to a minor league deal to save a 40-man roster spot. But the Braves got in the way.

    It is a bit of a gamble for the Braves as are any TJ-related pitchers. But this guy is the epitome of a high-ceiling prospect. His nickname is the “Strikeout Factory”. The 23-year old lefty was on the fast track through NYY’s minor leagues producing 14.3 K’s per 9 IP with a big fastball and nasty slider when he was struck down by the elbow. Having already undergone the TJ surgery in August, Lindgren will miss all of 2017, but will be 18 months out when Spring Training 2018 comes around. Add this kid to the stable of pitchers that will make their impact in 2019 and beyond.

    Like

  226. 236 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

    The good news is at least Trea Turner would be playing for someone else.

    I imagine Turner is an untouchable, in much the same way that Dansby is an untouchable for us. But I don’t blame CHW for asking.

    Coppy has made it quite clear that Dansby is going nowhere, but it appears he is willing to include Ozzie as well as one of Julio or Folty. It appears that CHW is asking for the moon though, and if Coppy includes Ozzie and one of Julio/Folty, he isn’t likely to also include Newcomb or Soroka or Touki.

    In the end, CHW will have to settle for a little less than their opening bid, but the receiving team will have to give up something that hurts… although not quite to the “Shelbian” level. I think that was a one time deal by an incompetent Dave Stewart and will not be a bar setter even if ace holding teams want it to be.

    Like

  227. 237 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 8:42 am

    One more thing, then I probably ought to do some work that I actually get paid for…

    Don’t be surprised if the ChiSox move off Dansby and onto Ender. Coppy will counter with Mallex, but the ChiSox will insist on Ender. He will be the centerpiece of talks if they get serious.

    My gut says he’s not going anywhere, though, unless the additional pieces drop significantly in level.

    Liked by 1 person

  228. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 8:54 am

    A good trade to me is one which benefits both sides, when you have one of those one sided deals like the Shelby Miller trade, the other side always feels they have to get “even”.

    The Braves have had their share of one sided bad trades, the most recent being the one with LA for Olivera. Yes, I know the Braves eventually traded Hector for Kemp but that was a throw away. They could have traded anyone for Kemp as long as they ate Kemp’s contract.

    Some of the other trades that worked out well for the Braves? Hudson for a bevy of n’er do wells with Oakland.

    While I hated to see Evan Gattis go, it has actually benefited both the Braves and the Astros in the long run.

    Liked by 2 people

  229. 239 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 9:02 am

    So, as far as deals go, at this point, I would be pretty satisfied with adding Castillo and calling it a day. I would imagine Beef will go where his agent can get the best deal. I would expect at least three years on a contract. I don’t know if the Braves have anyone in their system who is anywhere near major league ready so it might not be a bad contract for them.

    Recker and Gosewich combined salaries don’t add up to what amounts to “bus fare” for a major league club. Gosewich has a split contract so it is even less of an impact money wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 240 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Pitch framing The art of having fast hands so a less than competent umpires can be fooled into calling balls which are off the plate strikes. Personally, I think their are a lot of major league umpires who are less than competent. Of course they don’t have the benefit of 15 high definition cameras and super slo mo to allow them to get every call right. That said, I think most players would be happy if an umpire was simply consistent with their strike zone from pitch to pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  231. 241 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 10:28 am

    As I work my real job today, I keep wondering in the back of my mind what the first big deal at the Winter Meetings will be. This may be the hardest time of the year for the hardcore baseball nut to concentrate on his occupation.

    Liked by 2 people

  232. 242 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Get out!

    Liked by 1 person

  233. 243 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

    SunTrust Park will be significantly different.

    Like

  234. 244 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Courtesy of DO’B:

    Coppy on trading for ace: “If it matches up with the value that we feel makes sense for the Atlanta Braves, we’ll (do it). But the last thing we want to do is gut this farm system.”

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 245 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    RP Mark Melancon signs with the G-men for 4-yrs/$62M.

    SP Rich Hill going staying with the Dodgers for 3-yrs/$48M.

    Like

  236. 246 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Heyman says that with the gNats missing on Melancon, they’re stepping up their efforts for Sale (and McCutchen). They are meeting this afternoon with ChiSox on Sale… but the BoSox have now gotten involved. I can’t see the Braves giving up the ransom for Sale, so I’m hoping the BoSox come strong. If the gNats land Sale, it’s not good news for the home team. Can you imagine facing a rotation that begins with Scherzer, Sale, and Strasburg? And while that may sound like a DC accounting firm, you can bet they’ll account for alot of wins in the NL East.

    Liked by 2 people

  237. 247 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Heyman:

    The Nationals are stepping up their attempts to land Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, and may not be the only team doing so. The Boston Red Sox, among others, also remain involved.

    Both the Nationals and Red Sox appear to have the prospect wealth to make such a deal happen.

    The asking price for Sale is likely to remain high, with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf saying “You have to have four prospects that can’t miss” to trade someone with Sale’s pedigree.

    The Braves were not mentioned at all. They appear to have moved on.

    Like

  238. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    The Braves were not mentioned at all. They appear to have moved on.

    Good, the gNats and the BoSox are both in a very different place right now, The Braves are not yet in that place. Give us another season or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 249 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Giolito is MLB’s #3 rated prospect. By comparison Ozzie is #12 and Sean Newcomb is #46. If the Braves could get the ChiSox beyond asking for Dansby, your probably still talking Folty, Ozzie, and Newcomb just to start. As I alluded to earlier, if they’d move past Dansby, they’ll want Ender. So your probably talking Ender, Folty, Ozzie, Newcomb.

    And that’s why it won’t get done.

    Liked by 2 people

  240. 250 Carolina Lady December 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Hey, everybody!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!! I’m so happy with our little corner of the cyberverse. Got the best guys on the planet here!!

    Liked by 3 people

  241. 251 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Like

  242. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Very interesting VOR… Puts it into prospective doesn’t it. Who comes up with these rankings anyhow?

    Like

  243. 253 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Ah, but Lucas Giolito was 21 last year, had a 2.17 ERA at AAA in 37 innings after leaving AA, and even came up to the big show for a few starts(not so hot) 44 Walks in 114 innings, 2.97 ERA between all levels…
    Sean Newcomb 23 most of last year, 71 walks in 140 innings 3.87 ERA in AA all year long
    I’ll take either of them though 😉 Silly to trade someone like that , +3 other prospects….

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 254 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Silly to trade someone like that

    I agree, and it would appear that Coppy does also. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  245. 255 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Coppy has now doubled down on his vow to keep his eyes on the long term health of the Braves system, refusing to part with multiple top prospects for an “ace” pitcher. For my part, I’m happy to stick to The Plan and bring up our own aces in the next couple of years.

    In fact, I’m about ready to forget making a run at Welington Castillo and just take it to the house with TFlow and Recker. Offensively Castro doesn’t give you much more than TFlow or Recker, and while he does throw would be base-stealers out at a 37% rate, he allowed 10 passed balls last season, and is considered a below-average pitch framer. I’m on board with having a better defensive catcher to give our pitchers the best opportunities for success.

    But I wouldn’t mind seeing Coppy look at improving 3B. SDP has made Yangervis Solarte available for trade, and he’d be a pretty decent bridge to young Austin Riley. He’s 29 and under team control until 2020. The Pads are making him available as he enters his first arb year in 2017.

    Patrick Brewer of the East Village Times, a Padres fan blog, sums Solarte thus:

    In terms of value, Solarte’s value should be at a pretty high point right now given a variety of factors. First off, Solarte is coming off of two seasons of strong play, including a .286/.341/.467 slash line in a 2.8 fWAR 2016 season, a season in which he played in only 109 games. Beyond that, Solarte has positional versatility at both second and third, and also comes with three years remaining of team control and a modest $2.7 million projected arbitration salary for 2017. Add to that his improved defense and baserunning from 2016, and it’s clear Solarte has a good amount of value this offseason.

    Solarte is a SH that could hit 6th or 7th in the order and be a solid everyday 3B for the next 3 years. He might cost you Tyrell Jenkins. Would you do it?

    I gotta say, I’d do it and I’d feel pretty good about my lineup going into 2017.

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    MattyK, LF (R)
    Kakes, RF (L)
    SRod/Jace, 2B (R/L)
    Solarte, 3B (S)
    TFlow/Recker, C (R)

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Yes VOX, Tyrell Jenkins for Solarte? In a New York minute… Likely to take another prospect or two. Possibly Demerritt.

    Poor Adonis… I’m sure he hates being the brunt of trade talk fodder.

    Liked by 2 people

  247. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Of course, the real trades that often happen are the ones no one hears about before hand. That and the surprise moves like the Braves swooping in and signing Jacob Lindgren away from the Yankees. After all, here is a player who will not play for an entire year. Who does that? Well, now we know…

    Realistically, now that I think about it, it is no riskier than signing a 16 year old kid from Venezuela for $5MM knowing he won’t hit the majors for at least 4 more years.

    Liked by 2 people

  248. 258 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Personally, I think acquiring Jacob Lindgren was a great move. It has drawn strong comparisons to when John Scheurholz acquired Jonny Venters. And Lindgren has the potential to be just as dominant a reliever.

    As much as the team has drawn attention for their bevvy of young talented starters, there are alot of young talented relievers as well. Guys like Viz, Mauricio Cabrera, Jose Ramirez. Ian Krol, AJ Minter, Akeel Morris, Chad Sobotka… to go along with the rehabbing Lindgren, Paco Rodriguez and Dan Winkler.

    I’m telling you, this team is set up with pitching for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 259 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Liked by 1 person

  250. 260 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 10:12 am

    … in response to

    Like

  251. 261 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I’ll never understand how with the truly greats that have played this game, there has never been a unanimous selection. It’s just flippin’ ludicrous.

    Perhaps that will now change with the ballots becoming public fodder.

    Liked by 2 people

  252. 262 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 10:18 am

    The above mentioned Greg Maddux? Hank Aaron? Willie Mays? Ken Griffey, Jr.? Babe Ruth? Never a unanimous selection. How?

    Seriously… if Hank Aaron is not a unanimous selection, what exactly is the HOF anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 11:31 am

    So, there will always be a contrarian who wants to prove a point by being so. I am not exactly sure what point they are trying to make? Perhaps they no longer know. Anyway, I just keep in mind there was only one perfect man and they crucified him.

    So, perhaps we should give less credence to those who are contrary and more to those who actually have a brain.

    Simple Pass/Fail rather than a number grade… No matter, they will still be Hall Of Fame members. That said, time to elect Pete Rose and even Shoeless Joe into the HOF. after all, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If you think gambling is so awful, then sever all ties with it, period…

    Okie dokie, still waiting for the latest news out of Atlanta.

    Liked by 3 people

  254. 264 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Courtesy of DO’B in today’s ajc;

    As for the notion that some feelings might be hurt among young pitchers getting squeezed out of the rotation, Coppolella fairly scoffed at that.

    “As far as the way our pitchers feel, this may not be (politically correct), but if you don’t like it, get better,” he said. “There’s been a lot of opportunities handed out here. There’s been a lot of pitchers pitching where, frankly, I’m – I don’t want to say embarrassed for the Braves franchise, but where a gold-standard franchise like the Braves should be a lot better…

    “If you feel like you’ve been slighted, or you have gotten a chance, or you’re mad that we brought somebody better, pitch better. Get better. We don’t owe anybody anything. The best pitchers are going to pitch for us, and if you don’t like it, get better.

    Well… yeah. And he added:

    “We owe it to our players and our fans to put better teams on the field when we can. Competition is good. It’s not a bad thing. The cream is going to rise to the top. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

    Strong words. It’ll probably ruffle some feathers somewhere. To be honest, I find it refreshing to see a public figure speak plainly and frankly. Nobody is owed anything. Players should have to earn their spots. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

  255. 265 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Still waiting for the latest news out of Atlanta.

    It has been remarkably quiet. I think the other 29 teams want to fleece us out of our prospects. That’s obviously not happening. This could be a fairly anti-climactic Winter Meetings. Looks like Coppy may have already done all the heavy lifting before he got there.

    Liked by 1 person

  256. 266 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    WHOA!!!!

    Like

  257. 267 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I can’t believe that Boston gave up Yoan Moncada! That’s huge… HUGE.

    Liked by 1 person

  258. 268 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    That was the best news for Atlanta. If Sale wasn’t coming here, keep him out of DC. Thank you Dave Dombrowski!

    Mike Rizzo has now whiffed on 2 targets… Mark Melancon and Chris Sale. I suppose we’ll see the gNats go all in on Andrew McCutchen now.

    Liked by 3 people

  259. 269 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I wonder if this blockbuster will now loosen things up a bit. Maybe we’ll start to see some other movement from other teams now.

    Like

  260. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    So, what Coppy is saying, no participation trophies awarded by Atlanta.

    Yep, BoSox improve their position in the NL East but it is a long season and Sale is only one player.

    ChiSox did not hurt themselves in the long run, They were not going to win with just Chris Sale either.

    Liked by 2 people

  261. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I am of the mind that adding some experienced arm to the Braves staff might just be the kind of incentive Wisler and Blair might need to “pitch angry”… Both are better when they do. We have seen it with Julio as he matured. You have to have a bit of a swagger to be a gunslinger. Willing to pitch inside and hit a few guys who wont back off the plate.

    Now, I don’t mean being a “headhunter” but below the neck is okay. Should be fun in camp this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  262. 272 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Red Sox in a much different place than the Braves. They are poised to win now. Their rotation is now Sale, Porcello, Price, Wright and one of Rodriguez/Pomeranz/Buchholz. Man that’s deep and talented. They could afford to trade Moncada because of a guy named Dustin Pedroia. Maybe you’ve heard of him? And they could afford to trade Michael Kopech because of the above mentioned pitching depth.

    Braves are still in the rebuild. It would be completely counterproductive for us to give up Dansby, Newcomb and 2 other top prospects. In fact, it would have set the rebuild back a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  263. 273 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    no participation trophies awarded by Atlanta

    Nope.

    Liked by 1 person

  264. 274 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    “The best pitchers are going to pitch for us, and if you don’t like it, get better.”

    Man I can’t hear that enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  265. 275 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Coppy on his catchers, courtesy of Mr. O’B:

    “We have a great deal of confidence in Tyler Flowers as someone who could be our primary catcher,” Coppolella said. “We feel great about the way that Anthony Recker played last year. Not that WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is the be-all, end-all (statistic), but his WAR was better than half the free agents out there. And he’s ours, a guy that we know, a hard worker, and he cares. So if we end up with Tyler and Anthony and Tuffy Gosewisch at Triple-A, among others, we feel that’s a pretty good catching group.”

    Can’t disagree. Whomever it is will be batting 8th anyway, so go out and catch the ball and make your pitchers better.

    Liked by 2 people

  266. 276 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    If that is indeed the case, then there is an opening on the bench for a 4th OF. Given Sean Rodriguez’ versatility, it could open the door for Chase d’Arnaud to remain on the team. He’s probably the best suited – on the current roster – to backup SS and CF anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 277 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    But if I were a betting man, I’d bet they add a 4th OF… probably a defense first CF with wheels.

    Liked by 1 person

  268. 278 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Ben Revere?

    Like

  269. 279 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Peter Bourjos?

    Like

  270. 280 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Old friend Drew Stubbs?

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 281 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I think it is conducive to Mallex’s continued development for him to play everyday in AAA. And if a starter in ATL goes down for a DL stint, he’s just a couple of counties away.

    I’d sign a speedy defensive CF type that can be a late defensive replacement or swipe you a crucial base late in the game. Stubbs sounds like that guy to me. Stubbs is also a RH hitter with a little pop (glad I saw that typo… it originally said a little “poop” 😆 ), when he makes contact of course. I wouldn’t want him starting for me, but I wouldn’t mind him as a 4th OF.

    Liked by 2 people

  272. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Would welcome the first two, pass on the later.

    Yes, it is always the desire of young players to be in the show but if they would be just a bit retrospective, they would understand that playing everyday is more beneficial to them than playing once or twice a week. If they are good enough, economics dictate their time will come.

    Nick Markais and Matt Kemp are both closer to the end of their time in Atlanta than the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I love both players but they are both expensive and getting older. Now, if the Braves wanted to trade for a McCutchen, I would be okay with it but no need to deviate from the plan.

    Continue to build a sustainable winning franchise. No matter how good DC is or the Mets or Philly or Miami, they still have the same pool from whom to draw talent, get better at drafting and signing and developing talent and the Braves can again be the organization of choice for free agents and rookies alike. Be a club where money alone is not the draw.

    Just saying…

    Liked by 2 people

  273. 283 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Braves sign Easy-O to a minor league deal.

    No objections by me on that, you never know…

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 284 Vox O'Reason December 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I never begrudge a no-risk signing…

    Liked by 2 people

  275. 285 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2016 at 6:17 am

    To give up Yoan Moncada, who some say is a Robinson Cano from the left side, only with more power…(and they say he needs to develop from the right side, as they show him mashing from…the right side) and a starter that throws harder than Thor, and has a awesome slider…that could really hurt the red Sox if Sale blows out his arm in a year or two…but, you have to take chances…

    Like

  276. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Ber, that is the art of the deal. Give up an establish guy for a couple of “can’t miss” prospects. It’s why baseball is such a fun game. And why pitchers are such a delicate commodity. You just never know when they will come unraveled.

    Like

  277. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 7:25 am

    “There’s also a chance Kelly Johnson could return to Atlanta’s roster again next year. The Braves have had some recent contact with Johnson, a free agent who has been traded by the Braves to the Mets during each of the past two seasons.”

    Sure, why not, a couple more of the Mets draft picks in the bag…

    Liked by 1 person

  278. 288 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 7:52 am

    To give up Yoan Moncada, who some say is a Robinson Cano from the left side, only with more power… and a starter that throws harder than Thor, and has a awesome slider…that could really hurt the red Sox if Sale blows out his arm in a year or two

    Not only did the BoSox trade away 4 out of their Top 30 prospects, including the #1 prospect in all of baseball, they also are paying all of the bonus money still owed to Moncada. When you add that in, the net effect is that they gave up a massive prospect price for 3 years of Chris Sale and about $98M in total commitments -> Moncada bonus ($60M) + Sale salary ($38M).

    So what was a tremendous discount for the AL’s best pitcher, roughly $12.6M per year, now equates to over $30M per year net.

    And the really sad part is that $30M is still less than either Kershaw or Greinke earn annually.

    The reality is that any pitcher is just one pitch away from blowing out his arm. Sale has been pretty durable for his career. If anything, LA needs to be nervous about Kershaw’s balky back and ARI needs to be nervous about Greinke’s fragile psyche.

    It’s a classic case of a team that is close going “all in”. Can’t blame Dombrowski for that. Their “window of opportunity” is now. I like Coppy’s quote. He said that the Braves aren’t looking to create a window, but rather to create constant waves. That’s why they haven’t, and won’t deviate from The Plan. Their time won’t be 2017, but watch out for 2018 and beyond.

    Liked by 2 people

  279. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Yes, I think we are of the same mind Vee, you too Ber. We understand the braves are going to be instantly good, it takes time to build a great house. Look at what happened in San Diego, they tried to bypass the process and landed with a thud.

    The Dodgers have simply thrown money at the problem and still they fall short. The gNats? They still have not won a play-off series.

    I don’t blame the BoSox for going all in. They have the resources and the backing of their ownership. They are also loaded and as great as their prospects are, they don’t have a roster spot available for them to play.

    Now, if they bite the bullet and sign Encarnacion to DH, go ahead and engrave the trophy…

    Liked by 1 person

  280. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Speaking of the Dodgers, they have a very deep farm system. I think they are ripe for a fleecing when it comes to a need and that is starting pitching. Besides, they owe us for Olivera… come to think of it, the Braves need to fire a scout or two for missing on that one…

    On a different note, Ramos signed a two year deal with the Rays, that removes them from the “Beef” Wellington sweepstakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  281. 291 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 8:36 am

    From ajc:

    “Snit will tell you, these guys, they don’t want days off,” Hart said, noting that Markakis in particular is adamant about being in the lineup. “Snit said, ‘I may have given Markakis his last day off; he is no fun on the bench.’”

    Ha ha ha ha ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  282. 292 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 9:20 am

    While I could sort of see the Braves in contact with KJ one more time, it’s really only a loose fit.

    If the Braves indeed allow Mallex to play everyday in AAA – a plan that I endorse – they will need someone that can capably play CF. While KJ can handle LF, and maybe even RF, he’s not a CF.

    Mr. O’B makes note of the fact that Sean Rodriguez can handle CF, but also that he is expected to get plenty of starts at both 2B and 3B. Maybe the thinking is that if SRod has to go to CF, KJ can slot in at 2B and 3B. I suppose that could work.

    Chase d’Arnaud is a guy that is pretty versatile in the field and is a good baserunner. But if Mallex goes down, it takes away a LH bat from a bench that is already RH heavy. That’s a big strike against Chase (pun fully intended).

    I see the need as I noted yesterday… a pure CF with great wheels and base stealing capability, that bats from the LH side. He needs to be a good fielder that can also be a late inning defensive replacement in LF.

    A couple of guys on the current FA market that might fit that bill are Gregor Blanco and Alejandro de Aza. Neither had a very good 2016 and either might could be had on a reasonable 1-year deal. I wouldn’t expect much from their bats, though. As I said yesterday, if we lost Ender for any period of time that required a DL stint, Mallex would certainly be called up anyway.

    And as bad as each of them were last year, they’ll probably each get a deal near the $5M mark… which seems ludicrous to me.

    Perhaps a more economical option is already in the system.

    That internal option would be Mel Rojas, Jr. He’s a 26-year-old career minor leaguer that the Braves picked up early last year in a minor league trade with PIT. He’s an athletic SH that plays all 3 OF spots capably, although not considered an “elite” defender. Overall last season, he hit .253/.322/.433 w/ 12 HR’s, 20 2B’s, 6 3B’s, and 12 SB’s split between AA and AAA. That sounds pretty good, but the knock on him has been that he has a pretty high K rate…. 21% last year to be exact. But he is a superior athlete that might find his best value as a #4 OF. And being that he’ll already be 27 when Spring Training begins, this may be his last best shot at a ML job. I know he’s playing in the Dominican Winter League, but can’t find any current news on him… well, none in English anyway.

    I can find his numbers, though. In 32 games, he’s 5th in the league in AVG at .302. He’s slashing .302/.316/.438 w/ 22 K’s in 96 AB’s… pretty much his career rate. At least he’s consistent, right?

    Like

  283. 293 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Like

  284. 294 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Quintana ooh. ooh… That’s an upgrade…

    Like

  285. 295 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Jose Quintana, 27-year-old LHP

    Mark Polishuk, MLBTR on Jose Quintana:

    While often overshadowed by [Chris] Sale in Chicago, Quintana has rather quietly been a very durable and effective pitcher over his five years with the White Sox. Quintana has a 3.41 ERA, 3.20 K/BB rate, 7.4 K/9 over 951 career innings, and over the last four seasons, he has generated 18.2 fWAR and averaged 204 innings per year. An early-career extension has made Quintana even more of a valuable commodity, as he is owed just $14.35MM through 2018, plus $10.5MM club options for both 2019 and 2020 (with $1MM buyouts in each year).

    There are some that suggest that Quintana is as good a “get” as Sale, at a better value.

    Like

  286. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Of course the gNats are interested too.

    Like

  287. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Would take a couple of pitcher (Wisler, Blair or Folty) & TBD position player not named Swanson) , I expect it would take at least 4 players. Interesting…

    Like

  288. 298 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

    That means once again a 4 man bench. Recker, SRod, Chase d’Arnaud and ??. The versatility of both SRod and Chase make a 4 man bench possible. That one last piece needs to be more than a “chance”, though. Needs to be spot on. Still needs to be a LH hitter, too.

    Like

  289. 299 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Would take a couple of pitcher (Wisler, Blair or Folty) & TBD position player not named Swanson) , I expect it would take at least 4 players. Interesting…

    Yep, 4 for sure. Would probably still require Ozzie. My guess would be Ozzie plus one of Blair/Wisler plus a couple of prospects, likely a pitcher (Tyrell Jenkins or Lucas Sims?) and a guy like Braxton Davidson.

    Like

  290. 300 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Got to have at least one opening to give the kids incentive in spring training…

    Liked by 1 person

  291. 301 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Very cool factoid…

    Liked by 1 person

  292. 302 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Ian Desmond goes to the Rockies for 5-years/$70M. He will thrive there.

    Liked by 1 person

  293. 303 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    the thing about Chase d’Arnaud though…is hitting .200 enough??? Cuz after starting hot, he just got colder and colder as the season wore on. 211 in July, .189 in August, and in only 5 official A.B’s in Sept/Oct, 1 hit.

    Like

  294. 304 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Not really counting on him for offense, though. He’s there to back up SS and CF. That’s about it. He won’t get alot of playing time behind Dansby and Ender.

    Like

  295. 305 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Wade Davis to Cubs; Jorge Soler to KC. Win/win.

    Like

  296. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    On Desmond to Rockies, a bargain if I ever saw one…

    Soler was not going to get much playing time in Chicago, the Cubbies needed a back of the rotation reliever.

    d’Arnaud needs more reps to stay sharp, reduction in playing time transferred to a decreasing BA.

    Like

  297. 307 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 2:58 am

    well, I seem to recall his bat disappearing played a big role in decreased AB’s 😉

    Like

  298. 308 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Well, Chapman has re-signed with the Yanks for 5 years, 86 Mil….IF Maddon didn’t ruin his arm (sure hope the Yankees do about 11 MRI’s on it) really doesn’t seem like crazy money for a closer that is that good…and still in his 20’s….
    And Jansen may sign with the Marlins for close to that moola…I would sure think after the terrible lose of Jose Fernandez , the starter with perhaps the best stuff in baseball, they would be trying hard to find starters….but a great closer is always a good thing to have….

    Like

  299. 309 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Coppy may be getting too full of himself these days, first dissing the young starters as if they are the equivalent of tender dog hugging college students, now he bashed Julio T, and Jose Quintana in a short paragraph! 😉

    from MLBTR, via DOB…
    The Braves also asked about Quintana and thought the White Sox’ price was too high, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The problem seems to be that the Braves don’t feel Quintana is as valuable as Sale was, even though Quintana is controllable for an extra year. “We don’t have needs in starting pitching,” says GM John Coppolella. “Do we want a No. 1 starter, is Chris Sale a No. 1 starter? Yes. Do we want Jose Quintana? I don’t think Jose Quintana is Chris Sale.”

    He’s right of course, but he does have 4 straight years of 200 + innings, 160 or more strikeouts every one of those seasons, with an ERA 3.51 or less over those 4 seasons as well. Cheap (MLBPA should look into all the team friendly deals the ChiSox signed players to! 😉 ) will turn 28 in Jan …

    but yeah, not likely worth what they are asking for him…
    can you blame the White Sox for trying?
    They have probably moved over 20 teams in farm club ratings in the 2 deals they have made, and probably will be the top team if they get someone to bite on Quintana….
    I am sure Adam Eaton is very good, and some say the equal of JHey in Right, but a guy with a .284 BA, 14 HR’s and 14 steals, just doesn’t seem worth the top 2 starters in the Nat’s system, plus last year’s #1 pick does he?
    hey, guess what team traded him away ??? No, not the Pads, the other team that gives away their best talent all the time, the Diamondbacks…of course, to be fair…his final season in AZ, he was 24, hit .252 in 250 AB’s so he wasn’t yet worth a whole farm system….

    Like

  300. 310 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 7:34 am

    “No, not the Pads, the other team that gives away their best talent all the time, the Diamondbacks…”

    They do appear to have a perchance of shooting themselves in the foot don’t they? Now, if I were a major league team, I would be working real hard at trying to steal away from both organizations the scouts and the cross checkers who have been so stellar at spotting their talent to begin with.

    Like

  301. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Chapman has to be the Yankees version of Kelly Johnson. Still, I guess the Cubs thought it was worth giving up Torres for a World Series ring.

    Liked by 1 person

  302. 312 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Nats prepping for Harper’s impending departure to the Yankees.

    Liked by 1 person

  303. 313 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Coppy may be getting too full of himself these days, first dissing the young starters as if they are the equivalent of tender dog hugging college students, now he bashed Julio T, and Jose Quintana in a short paragraph!

    Coppy speaks unabashed truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. We have an entire generation of quivering jelly globs that have grown up hearing people around them polish turds and call them diamonds. The real world is a tough place. They better get tough with it.

    But I missed Coppy dissing Julio. Where was that?

    Like

  304. 314 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 8:07 am

    The Nats are a victim of buying into the basement stat of WAR. Eaton is not worth the ransom they gave up to get him. Good player? Yes. You know what I see? I see Nate McLouth. He’ll never be worth what they gave up to get him. And he certainly is no Andrew McCutchen, even in a down year.

    I think the braves and every other NL East team has dodged several bullets this Winter… first Mark Melancon, then Chris Sale, and now Cutch. I’m happy for them to have gotten Eaton. Good enough for the gNats to lose some bright parts of their future to get him, but not good enough to pile the team on his shoulders and carry them to a title.

    Like

  305. 315 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Watching the closer market just explode, it makes Jim Johnson look like a Dollar general purchase. It also shows the value of guys like Viz and Mauricio Cabrera. Not to mention the next group of Jason Hursh, She Simmons, Akeel Morris and AJ Minter. Especially AJ Minter. Lucas Sims may end up being a late inning guy too if he isn’t traded away from the organization.

    It simply underscores the wisdom of the Johns for hoarding the young pitching the way that they have. No way the Braves could offer the crazy contracts that are going out to Chapman and Jansen, or the prospect packages to get Davis of Colome.

    Man… I am sooooo thankful for JimmyJohn, Vizzy and Cabrera. I think they will be a “lockdown” bullpen. And they’re already here.

    Like

  306. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Armando Rivero picked in the rule 5 draft by the Braves.

    Like

  307. 317 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

    The Rule 5 Draft is now underway, and upon completion the Winter Meetings will officially close. But it doesn’t mean the Hot Stove will necessarily grow cold.

    Based on recent comments by both Coppy and Snit, I think the team will almost certainly sign a 4th OF for the bench. I’ve seen Rajai Davis, Peter Bourjos or Justin Ruggiano being mentioned as possibilities, although all are RH. Personally, I think they need a LH, but I could be wrong.

    Based on the current roster, the bench appears to be

    SeanRod, IF/OF (R) *who will be starting alot at 2B & 3B
    Recker, C (R)
    Chase d’Arnaud, IF/OF (R)
    ???

    All of these guys are RH. And when SeanRod is at 3B, Adonis is another RH on the bench. I am of the opinion that Chase’s days in ATL could be numbered. He does have 1 option remaining, so the team could simply stash him in AAA and keep the LH Rio Ruiz instead. Still, does it help to have a rookie sitting on your bench? With SeanRod in the fold, Rio won’t get much playing time.

    The everyday lineup is fairly balanced, but the bench isn’t. That’s where Coppy still has work to do. I won’t be surprised to see a trade or 2, maybe involving Chase… and maybe involving Adonis.

    To me, it makes more sense to upgrade 3B and give SeanRod the lion’s share of time at 2B, placing the LH Jace on the bench. At the very least, platoon Adonis/Rio. But I’m no GM… I’m just a blog participant.

    Liked by 1 person

  308. 318 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Armando Rivero… a 28-year-old RH reliever from Cuba. And with that, the Braves must now make a 40-man roster move to accommodate him, and must keep him on the active roster for the entirety of the regular season.

    It’s a surprise to me that they took him given the fact they have no room on the 40-man.

    Like

  309. 319 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Rivero posted a 2.13 ERA in 43 appearances in AAA in 2016 with 105 K’s in 67.2 IP. Yowser that’s alot of K’s. i guess you make room for a guy like that, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  310. 320 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

    And the roster casualty is Williams Perez, who has been released.

    Like

  311. 321 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

    In 4 Minor League seasons, Rivero has 303 K’s in 220 IP with a 2.70 ERA in 160 appearances.

    I gotta dig up his scouting report…

    Like

  312. 322 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Vee, they release Williams Perez just prior to the draft.

    Like

  313. 323 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Rivero in 2016:

    13.97 K’s / 9 IP
    4.66 BB’s / 9 IP

    And there is the kryptonite. Gotta get those walks down.

    Like

  314. 324 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I’m pretty sure Coppy was lying in the weeds on that one. It helps to have the number three pick.

    Like

  315. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Cecilio Pimentel? Who saw that coming?

    Like

  316. 326 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Detailed info is sketchy… looks like a +/- 96 mph fastball, slider, splitter.

    Like

  317. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Vee, sometimes I think the walks are as a results of “stuff”. If you can lay off the outside pitch long enough, it will break off the plate.

    Remember what Huddy said about his minor league rehab? You can’t pitch with a plan because minor league hitters swing at everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  318. 328 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Braves take LHP Cecilio Pimentel from Pirates AA roster in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft.

    Like

  319. 329 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Cesilio Pimentel, LH reliever…

    2016: 51 IP, 2.65 ERA, 48 K’s, opposing batters hit just .210 against him. He had 6 saves in 8 opportunities.

    Like

  320. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Manny Acosta was like that, his slider had to start out in the center of the plate because it would break so far. It was his achilles heel.

    The Yankees must have a pretty deep minor league system, they lost three players in the Rule 5 draft, a catcher and two pitchers.

    Like

  321. 331 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

    On the surface, Rivero looks like a very nice pickup. Williams Perez was expendable, especially with the presence of Josh Collmenter.

    I could see the Braves letting Dan Winkler go back to COL now. Can’t see them keeping both Winkler and Rivero on the active roster. And it practically cements the notion of keeping an 8 man bullpen.

    JimmyJohn, Closer
    Vizzy, RH
    Mauricio, RH
    Krol, LH
    Jose Ram, RH
    Chaz Roe, RH
    Armando Rivero, RH
    Collmenter, RH long reliever

    Like

  322. 332 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Wonder if the Braves will entertain the notion of trading Viz since the closer market is so volatile. He’s been pretty inconsistent here, yet might bring back a nice young catcher in a trade. On the surface, it appears the Braves have a surplus from which to deal.

    Like

  323. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

    The Braves look pretty well stocked in their bull pen, I look for some of their young pitchers to be offered up as trade fodder this winter. A lot of the winter meeting is spent throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, that and trying to snoop out loose lipped interns. Talk about industrial spying, the Chinese have nothing on MLB scouts. Always looking for new talent under every rock.

    Like

  324. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 9:47 am

    As for Williams, he’ll find a job somewhere. No Chris Sale but he has some ability. Not a lot but he will be playing somewhere.

    Like

  325. 335 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I like the Braves rule 5 pick of Rivero. He is really another low risk, high reward move for the Braves. The Braves did lose Zack Bird to the Rangers but oh well, Zach does get a chance to pitch in the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  326. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Per Bowman, “Rivero pitched for Eddie Perez in Venezuela the last two seasons”.. Ah ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  327. 337 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 11:13 am

    “Do we want a No. 1 starter, is Chris Sale a No. 1 starter? Yes.
    V, I could have been reading too much into that….you could read that as do we want A #1 starter, or do we want to have a #1….
    I do agree….to a point it’s nice to be honest about your club….but to diss another teams pitcher, a team you will want to trade with in the future….
    we all know the braves flat out robbed the Diamondbacks, and Coppy was hoping he would continue to rob teams like that….but , I didn’t hear say the Red Sox brass personally diss Julio in print/web/whathaveyou

    Like

  328. 338 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Armando Rivero > Zack Bird

    Like

  329. 339 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I dunno Ber…

    I don’t think Coppy was disparaging anyone. Chris Sale is the best pitcher in the AL. If you have a shot at acquiring him, you at least look at it. Julio is our #1, but not necessarily a #1 on alot of staffs. Off the top of my head, I can think of Syndergaard, deGrom, Scherzer, and Strasburg just within our own division that would be a clear #1 over Julio. And that’s not a shot at Julio. It’s just simply a fact.

    As for Quintana, the headline was a little misleading and had more bite than the article did (as headlines often are and do). Coppy and Hart both talked about how much they like Quintana, but that he’s not on the same level as Sale. And he’s not. But their point of view was from a trade standpoint. CHW are asking as much for Quintana as they were for Sale. The Johns were responding to the pricetag, not the pitcher.

    I don’t even think they want to rob the ChiSox of their pitcher, but they aren’t giving up a package of 4 or 5 top prospects for Quintana either. And I’m glad they aren’t. I didn’t even want them to do that for Sale.

    We may just have to agree to disagree on this one, but I didn’t see any of that as disparaging anyone.

    Like

  330. 340 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Greater than Williams Perez too. I suspect the Braves have had their eye on Rivero for a while. Sor tof like playing chess and you hope your opponent cannot read your mind and see that you will have him in checkmate if he takes your queen.

    Still, having a day to day history with a player can help in your evaluations. Not like going to watch a guy and it being the day he has a cold or did not get a good night’s sleep prior to a game.

    Also gives you a good feel on a player’s make up. Then again, like the Bible says, ” a prophet is seldom recognized in his own town”

    Liked by 2 people

  331. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Okay, this bad boy is getting slow to load so I think I will work on a quick lead to tide us over until we can do one with a bit more substance.

    Like

  332. 342 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Does it get any better than this:

    Like

  333. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Raisins, that is the ultimate… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  334. 344 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 11:45 am

    what I really like about the Armando Rivero pick, besides his mostly excellent numbers in the minors, is that he’s 28…so, it’s not like tossing a 21 year old onto the roster all year long, (perhaps worrying about number of pitches perh outing, back to back to back games, etc) he can be used in the 5th to get a few guys out, or any inning later….great pic if his numbers transfer from the minors!

    Like

  335. 345 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 11:55 am

    The Cubs lost Daniel Lockhart to the Braves in the Triple-A phase. Lockhart has been in the organization for six years, peaking at Double-A (except for two games at Iowa in 2013). He was the Cubs’ 10th-round pick in 2011 and is the son of former major league player Keith Lockhart, who is now a scout in the Cubs organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  336. 346 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 11:57 am

    V, I don’t think there is a chance of trading Viz for anything til he proves he is healthy….if he looks great in Spring training, or in April/May, teams will come a-calling no doubt….

    Like

  337. 347 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/baseball/braves-like-quintana-but-not-the-way-they-liked-sale/wma1Oji6asWNBP4ahTgIvO/

    “It comes down to needs and wants,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We don’t have needs in starting pitching. Do we want a No. 1 starter, is Chris Sale a No. 1 starter? Yes. Do we want Jose Quintana? I don’t think Jose Quintana is Chris Sale. (me tossing in this comment, perhaps something was edited, but it sounds like no, we don’t want him…he should have said, we’d love to have him, but just too expensive in terms of talent to give up)
    Is he an extra year of control (under contract four more years instead of Sale’s three)? Yes. Who’s to say one of our young kids can’t turn into Jose Quintana? Or Chris Sale.”

    Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said, “You start jumping into the deeper water, we’re not going to get that kind of guy (without giving up elite prospects). Plus, with this market out there there’s clubs that are more desperate that we are now for a starter, will pay a bigger price.”

    The Braves, who used a franchise-record and majors-leading 16 starters in 2016 and had the majors’ third-highest starters’ ERA, already added three veteran starting pitchers this winter: one-year deals for free agents Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and a trade for Cardinals veteran lefty Jaime Garcia with one year left on his contract.

    That trio joins All-Star incumbent Julio Teheran to give the Braves a much-improved top four. Barring a trade, the fifth spot would be contested between a host of young pitchers led by Mike Foltynewicz. Hart said again this week they intend to have one of their youngsters in the rotation.

    “If we’ve got four starters that are locked in,” Coppolella said, “and we want to give the fifth starter opportunity to one of our young kids, all of whom we like – Folty, Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Williams Perez, Tyrell Jenkins – why go out and give up the kids to get Quintana?”

    So, didn’t I say Folty would be the 5th starter? You don’t pay guys 11 mil or whatever it is to Dickey, to be the 5th starter…Now, he will just be in the fight for the 5th spot it sounds like…..well, I guess Perez is no longer in the mix 😉

    Like

  338. 348 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    So, didn’t I say Folty would be the 5th starter?

    The Jaime Garcia trade cemented that.

    Now, he will just be in the fight for the 5th spot it sounds like

    Let the fight begin. No entitlements. If these guys want to pitch in a major league rotation, then they need to show up in Spring Training and win a job, be it Folty or Wisler or Blair or whomever.

    The reality is that any or all of them might have not even reached the major leagues yet if they were in an organization that had 5 or 6 bona fide starters. But the Braves did not and had to rush some guys.

    And the harsher reality is that neither Wisler nor Blair has the ceiling that Newcomb, Fried, Allard and that crew has. So whatever they can accomplish they better accomplish quickly.

    As for Williams Perez, he peaked already. He’s a long reliever at best. I wish him success somewhere else. Probably in San Diego or Miami.

    Like

  339. 349 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I could have been a little clearer, I suppose.

    Wisler and Blair will have better opportunity next year, since both Colon and Garcia will be FA’s. For that matter, the Braves hold an option on Dickey, so it’s possible he’ll be gone too. That leaves at least 2 and possibly 3 rotation spots open for the youngsters in 2018. Which ones step up in 2017 will be greatly determine who is in line for 2018.

    Like

  340. 350 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Admission…

    I speak as if it’s a foregone conclusion that Folty is the #5. Well, in my mind he is until somebody takes it from him. He has the best body of work thus far. But it is wide open and will be settled in Spring Training. Competition breeds excellence. It should push these guys to be better. If the competition doesn’t motivate somebody, I’m not sure I want them around anyway.

    For all we know, Tyrell Jenkins could win the job.

    Like

  341. 351 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    So the flood of news will slow to a trickle as most of the execs and writers are all on planes about now. Maybe the in-air wifi will let some of them work, but I expect a lull in the news for a few hours.

    Like

  342. 352 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Okie dokie, new lead is on the bosses’ desk.

    Like

  343. 353 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:00 am

    For all we know, Tyrell Jenkins could win the job.

    Then again, maybe not… 😉

    Like

  344. 354 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Tyrell Jenkins is a great kid with a tremendous attitude, and I truly wish him the most success possible (except against ATL). But the reality is that he needed to take a step forward in 2016, and instead he stalled. And with Sean Newcomb and Max Fried both on the cusp, Jenkins was simply expendable.

    So he and LHRP Brady Feigl have netted us another “high ceiling” reliever from TEX.

    I will profile newcomer Luke Jackson below…

    Like

  345. 355 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Courtesy of Mr. O’B:

    [Right-handed reliever Luke] Jackson, a former first-round draft pick, routinely throws 95-98 mph fastballs and can reach triple digits, but the former starter has had command problems throughout his pro career. Still, the Braves were looking for big-armed relievers with a lot of potential and Jackson, 25, undoubtedly fits that bill.

    The Fort Lauderdale native had a 3.69 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 32 walks in 46 1/3 innings in 36 appearances in 2016 at Double-A and Triple-A. In his first 15 major league appearances over the past seasons he had an 8.50 ERA with nine strikeouts, 10 walks and 27 hits allowed in 18 innings, including four homers allowed in 11 2/3 innings in 2016.

    Courtesy of Bowman:

    Jackson — who was ranked as the Rangers’ 15th-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com — will likely begin the coming season with Triple-A Gwinnett, and if he can overcome his command issues, there’s a chance he could return to the Majors in 2017. He struggled over 18 big league innings with Texas, allowing 27 hits, 17 earned runs, 10 walks with just nine strikeouts.

    Ah yes… fastball command. What separates the men from the boys…

    Like

  346. 356 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Luke Jackson scouting report:

    Jackson already had a well-above-average fastball as a starter and kicked it up another notch in shorter stints, sitting at 95-97 mph with riding life. Now that he’s a reliever, he works almost primarily with his fastball and a hard overhand curveball. Jackson has some feel for a changeup and will still throw one on occasion.

    Jackson has cleaned up his delivery over the years, though it still has effort that provides deception but hampers his ability to harness his pitches. He still has yet to master the ability to throw strikes or pound the bottom of the zone, and he could become a closer if he ever figures it out.

    Like

  347. 357 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

    If you think we may have overpaid for a reliever with control issues, consider this, again courtesy of Bowman:

    Before trading Rob Whalen to the Mariners to create a 40-man roster spot for Sean Rodriguez last week, the Braves debated simply releasing Jenkins.

    That speaks volumes…

    As for Jackson’s control problems, he’s still a youngster, and the Braves have amassed some of the best pitching coaches around in Dom Chiti, Dave Wallace and Chuck Hernandez with the specific purpose of developing youngsters.

    Like

  348. 358 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:18 am

    By the way, for those keeping count, the infamous Shelby trade occurred 1 year ago today.

    Liked by 1 person

  349. 359 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

    In other MLB news, Dexter Fowler has agreed to join the Cards. That’s a great match. Good player going to a good team and a great baseball town.

    Like

  350. 360 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

    You just do not know who is a sure thing and who isn’t any more. Still another former first round pick added to the fold. I guess the new guy is not added to the forty man roster.

    Like

  351. 361 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I hate to keep beating the roster dead horse, but we do have a real issue that will have to be addressed…

    Even if the team chooses to keep an 8 man bullpen, there is still a major hurdle to be cleared. On the surface, there are 9 leading candidates for the 8 spots. Most of the roles are already defined. It looks like this:

    Jim Johnson, Closer
    Arodys Vizcaino, RH
    Mauricio Cabrera, RH
    Ian Krol, LH
    Jose Ramirez, RH
    Chaz Roe, RH
    Dan Winkler, RH
    Collmenter, RH long reliever

    … plus Rule 5 draftee:
    Armando Rivero, RH

    Remember, Rule 5 draftees must remain on the active roster for the entirety of the regular season or be offered back to the original team. Should a DL stint interupt the regular season, then the days spent on the DL are carried over into the next season. That part is significant because of Dan Winkler, who was a Rule 5 draftee in a previous season who still has 55 days left to remain on the active roster.

    Then we have to factor in whether or not the ‘pen candidates have any minor league options remaining. If not, they’ll have to pass through waivers before they can be outrighted to AAA. And none of the above arms will pass cleanly through waivers.

    So that leaves us with 9 candidates with the following statuses:

    Jim Johnson, Closer, n/a
    Arodys Vizcaino, RH, 1 option remaining
    Mauricio Cabrera, RH, 1 option remaining
    Ian Krol, LH, 0 options remaining
    Jose Ramirez, RH, 0 options remaining
    Chaz Roe, RH, 0 options remaining
    Armando Rivero, RH, Rule 5
    Dan Winkler, RH, Rule 5
    Collmenter, RH long reliever, n/a

    So of the 9 guys seeking 8 spots, only 2 have any real roster flexibility available… but those 2 figure to be the late inning, high-leverage relievers.

    So what to do? Having the 2 Rule 5 draftees really ties the team’s hands. Each have plenty of options remaining (3 each), but are chained to the team for 2017. Here’s the caveat…

    There is a possibility that Winkler won’t be ready when the season breaks (remember, he broke his elbow last April), which will give the team time to work out the details. IMO, there will be a trade at some point of a guy like Chaz Roe. He’s been decent, but probably doesn’t fit into the team’s long term plans. if they could flip him for another “high ceiling” prospect, I think they’d do it. But those type deals typically arise during Spring Training as teams fine tune their rosters. Given that the Braves will also have a handful of other NRI’s (non-roster invitees) in camp competing for jobs, there is likely to be some movement.

    I think we have reached the point in the rebuild where the glut of young pitchers is beginning to rise to the upper levels, forcing some decisions. It’s a good problem to have. It’s much better than trying to figure out where you can find a serviceable arm… like the Braves in the horrific 2015 season.

    Like

  352. 362 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I wish for Tyrell every success in his life. He is a good person and hopefully, his talents will equal his desires to be great at pitching.

    I have a sneaky feeling, however that the trade was more about clearing space on the forty man and not simply losing a decent pitcher via wavers and getting nothing in return.

    As for Feigl, well, we hardly knew you… Adios young fellow…

    Like

  353. 363 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I guess the new guy is not added to the forty man roster.

    He is. He filled Tyrell’s spot.

    Like

  354. 364 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:03 am

    The 40-man is still full at 40. If the Braves sign a FA to fill the 4th OF role, somebody already here will have to be released (or traded).

    It would not surprise me, though, that any additional acquisitions will come via the trade route. As I detailed above, and as exemplified in last night’s trade of Jenkins and Feigl, we have an area of surplus from which to deal. It’s about time to start cashing in a few of the lesser chips.

    Like

  355. 365 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Then again, I could be wrong (I know, hard to believe) but it appears that young Luke has been added to the 40 man roster. I guess the rules of the game is that in order to be removed from any club’s forty man roster is you have to clear waivers first,

    Like

  356. 366 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:05 am

    As for Brady Feigl, he showed moments of real promise then blew out his elbow. He’s another youngster trying to make his way back from TJ. We have a few of those and could afford to spare one. 😉

    Like

  357. 367 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I guess the rules of the game is that in order to be removed from any club’s forty man roster is you have to clear waivers first,

    Yup. Something like that. And depending on your service time and options remaining, you can then be outrighted or assigned to a minor league team. If you have enough service time and no options remaining, you can reject the assignment and choose FA.

    Like

  358. 368 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Hey! Who knew?!? Congrats Julio!!

    Liked by 3 people

  359. 369 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I hope this links properly on here… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  360. 370 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Yes!!!

    Like

  361. 371 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    “There’s another piece being chipped in by the Braves, in the form of the 25-year-old Feigl. An undrafted product of Mount Saint Mary’s University, Feigl has been limited to 72 1/3 professional innings — mostly in the lower minors — as he fought through Tommy John surgery. He has shown well when healthy, though, posting a 2.74 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.”

    Now I remember him, he had a chance at making the club in 2015 when he went down due to an elbow injury in spring training. He was the surprise player in camp that year. Good luck to him, he may well be the piece the Rangers really wanted.

    So, Mallex Smith is the only player left from the Heyward trade but Walden is back from the Cards as a minor leaguer and the Braves did pick up Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte for Shelby Miller. So, I guess one could say, the Braves really made out like bandits on the deal when all is said and done. Even if Blair never pitches again in the majors. That will be unlikely though it would seem to me. Blair just needs to be a bit more polished. He has the potential and has shone it last season.

    Like

  362. 372 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Baseball America has released their list of the Braves Top 10 prospects for 2017:

    Dansby Swanson, SS
    Ozzie Albies, 2B/SS
    Kolby Allard, LHP
    Mike Soroka, RHP
    Ian Anderson, RHP
    Ronald Acuna, OF
    Kevin Maitan, SS
    Sean Newcomb, LHP
    Patrick Weigel, RHP
    Max Fried, LHP

    Names to remember and to pay attention to…

    OF Ronald Acuna. Notice he’s listed higher than the acclaimed Kevin Maitan. He’s the guy that both Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones said stood out most to them among minor leaguers during Spring Training last year. He’s just a baby at 18, but is a legit 5-tool guy who’s still growing and developing power.

    RHP Patrick Weigel. He has shot up the team’s prospect list like a rocket over the last year. He was also named the Organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2016. That’s a pretty stout accomplishment considering the many more notable prized prospects in the system. He made the jump from Low A to AA late in the season last year and improved his performance against better competition. He’s a fast riser who should start 2017 in AA with an eye toward moving up to AAA mid-season. He’s a legit rotation candidate in 2018.

    Like

  363. 373 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

    So, Mallex Smith is the only player left from the Heyward trade

    Actually, Heyward and Walden netted us just Shelby and Tyrell. Mallex came from San Diego in the JUp deal. But as you noted, Shelby brought us so much more.

    In essence, Heyward has brought us Dansby, Ender, Blair, and newcomer Luke Jackson.

    Liked by 1 person

  364. 374 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I suspect the Chris Sale trade to the BoSox will net the ChiSox the same type of return to them but I don’t imagine Sale will bomb quite as badly as Shelby. I still say it was the D’Backs who changed Shelby’s mechanics so drastically he has not been able to recover. He is like a golfer who has developed the “yips”… Who knows if he will ever recover?

    Like

  365. 375 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Acuna is currently playing for the Melbourne Aces in Australia and is leading the team in hitting batting .333. If I remember correctly, the league is roughly equivalent to AA. I guess the Braves wanted to make up for the time lost this season to a thumb injury. Nice to have some talented position players in the pipeline. There will be openings in the outfield in 2018 and 2019…

    Like

  366. 376 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Acuna is currently playing for the Melbourne Aces in Australia and is leading the team in hitting batting .333. If I remember correctly, the league is roughly equivalent to AA.

    Pretty dang impressive for a 18-year-old.

    Like

  367. 377 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I’ll miss this guy. I really wanted him to succeed here.

    Liked by 1 person

  368. 378 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    PTBNL… yawn.

    Like

  369. 379 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks Vee.

    Like

  370. 380 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Our old friend Emilio Bonifacio has signed a minor league deal. Could contend for the 4th OF spot I suppose, but not very likely.

    Like

  371. 381 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2016 at 8:21 am

    We could start a new game, the six degrees of the Jason Heyward trade…

    Liked by 1 person


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